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The US Is Becoming a Hot Spot For Outsourcing (bendbulletin.com) 172

New submitter cdreimer shares a report from The New York Times (Warning: may be paywalled; alternate source) about how companies are now outsourcing in the United States, hiring from Michigan instead of Mumbai. From the report: For years, American companies have been saving money by "offshoring" jobs -- hiring people in India and other distant cubicle farms. Today, some of those jobs are being outsourced again -- in the United States. Nexient, a software outsourcing company, reflects the evolving geography of technology work. It holds daily video meetings with one of its clients, Bill.com, where team members stand up and say into the camera what they accomplished yesterday for Bill.com, and what they plan to do tomorrow. The difference is, they are phoning in from Michigan, not Mumbai. "It's the first time we've been happy outsourcing," said Rene Lacerte, the chief executive of Bill.com, a bill payment-and-collection service based in Palo Alto, Calif. Nexient is a domestic outsourcer, a flourishing niche in the tech world as some American companies pull back from the idea of hiring programmers a world away. Salaries have risen in places like South Asia, making outsourcing there less of a bargain. In addition, as brands pour energy and money into their websites and mobile apps, more of them are deciding that there is value in having developers in the same time zone, or at least on the same continent.
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The US Is Becoming a Hot Spot For Outsourcing

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  • I'll hire. (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:34PM (#54917785)

    After I'm done with most of my tools I'm told I have to 'hand it off to India' for continued development / support.

    I keep telling my manager that I'd rather hire a dozen high school dropouts that have completed some coding bootcamp. I don't need a CS major. I don't need a Software Engineer. I need someone that has shown any aptitude for a given language and has has enough initiative to want to learn.

    As long as I can talk to them in their first language and have the opportunity to fly out to show them what I need in person once a quarter the quality is going to be better.

    • better working conditions and pay. So no, you can't have them. See, the people in charge are in it for the long game.
      • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:16PM (#54917867)

        Good for them. Once they have enough knowledge they're too expensive for what I need.

        No one stays an apprentice forever in plumbing, hvac or electrical either. But there's a ton of apprentice level work to be done.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:32PM (#54917907)

          This! Holy crap this!!!!!

          Are you a construction worker? Because you hit that nail on the head!

        • And sometimes the journeymen and master plumbers and electricians still do the work that apprentices do when called on to do it: For instance, when it's a small, one-person owned shop, or when there is a shortage of apprentices.

          The advantage of hiring a journeyman is that they require a lot less supervision to get the job done, leaving the master-level person free to do the planning and job-costing for the entire project while one advantage of hiring an apprentice is that of making a long-term investment i

          • On the other hand, there are some Master electricians who do some pretty boneheaded things that no well-supervised apprentice would be allowed to do, all to cut corners, or even due to outright fraud or just plain laziness.
      • better working conditions and pay. So no, you can't have them. See, the people in charge are in it for the long game.

        Same goes for the Indians. Once they have stayed anywhere long enough, they have 'experience' to show for it, regardless of whether they've actually achieved anything, and can move. If they've actually achieved anything, they become as expensive as people here.

    • As long as I can talk to them in their first language... show them what I need in person... quality is going to be better.

      Exactly my experience. Not just showing someone what's needed in their native language, but also being absolutely sure that they understand what's needed and aren't just 'nodding in agreement'.

      Most importantly, if the work is submitted and doesn't do what was agreed, being in a position to say 'we both know you understood the exact requirements, this work doesn't meet those requirements, please fix it until it does what we agreed'.

    • We outsource to Canadians, eh? Same timezone, very polite, and they don't seem to puff their resume as much as their US counterparts.

  • by fred911 ( 83970 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:38PM (#54917791)

    for employers to avoid paying benefits and their part of FICA by hiring subcontractors.

    • Precisely. It's a good way to keep the project costs down. That's what a prudent project manager should do. When you run a company you price shop the same way you price shop for your groceries or other consumer items.

      • While you are at the supermarket example let's just say.... let's not pretend pretend the the ground "beef" is the same everywhere. And I've heard (second-handedly) that for the great bargain price of $1 the packaged hot dogs in the Dollar Tree was downright nauseating. You've bread, something that resembled a Frankfurt, something that used to be lettuce but now part shrivelled and the wetter part turning slimy. You can also look up the thousands (millions?) of horror outsourcing stories when you based yo
        • That's why you "price shop" not only based on price. As with your supermarket. You get the cheapest one that is just good enough for your standards.

          • Read the reviews... pick the best priced one with the best reviews. It doesn't matter if they are American if they are getting the good reviews and can work as part of a team.
      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        While this is very true, many who've outsourced have learned hard lessons in the total cost of outsourcing (TCOO). It's not simply that I have to pay worker X twice what I pay worker Y. It's what does it cost to deliver the widget either way.

        Just a short list of additional items in the TCOO...
        Dealing with additional costs for shipping
        Language translation issues.
        Quality concerns
        Timezone difficulties...setting up conference calls at times when everyone's available.
        Additional rules/regulations from the other

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Karmashock ( 2415832 )

      People were told that the labor rules were dumb and would have undesired consequences. People didn't listen. Predicted consequences occured... and somehow the People that made bad mistakes with bad consequences retained their credibility.

      That generally doesn't happen in any mission critical environment because it is counter productive to have stupid people make choices. But that's not how politics works. If people believe in doing dumb things it doesn't matter how many times it fails... they get to keep vot

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @01:16AM (#54918101)

        You wouldn't have any rights as a worker without those "radical" labor policies. The rest of your post is a ripple from the 1950s. Gotta watch out for the red menace!!! ohnoes!

        Now if your argument is *lucid*, something like "Outsourcing is a bad idea", then there's a lot to talk about there.

        If manufacturing collapsed because we started treating people better, then I think it makes it rather clear what manufacturing companies did to gain profit: they paid their staff shit and treated them like shit. Most of these people were also desperate and the plant was likely one of the only employers big enough to employ everyone. Should we be rewarding these companies for cutting corners on human treatment? Maybe we can get more Foxconns on the news. How far does it have to go before you think workers deserve consideration?

        Now that people know they have rights, it's made labor harder to get and nigh impossible to keep. People know they can be treated better, and over the decades countless companies have destroyed any incentive to be loyal to one's employer. Employers dug themselves that grave, and they'll have to lay in it.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @02:59AM (#54918301)

        The radical labor policies of the last 100 years have directly lead to the collapse of the manufacturing competitiveness of pretty much everywhere they were applied...

        Not everywhere. In Germany, manufacturing is about 30% of GDP vs about 12.5% in America, and their labor laws are even more socialist. On the negative side, their GDP per capita is about $42k vs $57k in America.

        • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

          once PPP is accounted for that difference in GDP per capita is less of a downside. IE, their purchasing power parity level means they can achieve a similar standard of living at a lower wage. plus their are other upsides to their system that also offsets the lower GDP (better health, better economic stability and mobility, etc)..

          • Let's not forget lack of student debt. Free university education means grads start out without a boat anchor around their neck that can follow them around even after they collect social security.
        • Germany has gotten a lot of its productivity as the expense of the rest of Europe. Consider Italy, Spain, Greece, etc.

          Do you know there are quotas for different industries and commodities throughout Europe that basically proscribe given countries in Europe to be producers of given things and not other things?

          Look at the rest of Europe. What happened to English manufacturing?

          Everyone is so very impressed with Germany but they forget that the way it is set up. Look at countries throughout Europe where labor p

      • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

        Keep pay and benefits low and people barely getting by....so that they can get jobs?
        That's like setting fire to your house to stay warm..

        • High pay with no job = 0 pay.

          Look, this is like any purchase on the market. You have a commodity that you want to sell at a certain price. If your ask is above market rate, it won't sell, and you make ZERO dollars.

          Your time... which you sell when you sell labor is gone every minute. It was there and then it is gone. Its like selling oranges or anything else perishable. If you don't sell it then it rots in the warehouse. You can't stockpile your time and sell it later. You must take the current market rate a

    • 1099 Employees charge about the same rate as W-2 labor + burden. That's because they get double hit with FICA. Contracting houses often charge MORE because the sales person gets a spiff on each hour, often as much as $5 to $10.

      Contractors don't get paid to sit on the bench, whereas W-2 people do. So depending on the project you pick the staff that gets it done on time and within the customer's budget, and if it's short duration with little downstream maintenance you hire contractors if your plate is f
  • ARRRRGGGG! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by youngone ( 975102 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:49PM (#54917809)

    It holds daily video meetings with one of its clients, Bill.com, where team members stand up and say into the camera what they accomplished yesterday for Bill.com, and what they plan to do tomorrow.

    Which sounds like an absolute living hell.
    I bet after a few weeks of being told they haven't accomplished enough for Bill.com today, and their plan for tomorrow isn't good enough, the really good workers leave and find a job where their boss doesn't look over their shoulder every day.

    • they don't have a lot of options.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Which sounds like an absolute living hell. I bet after a few weeks of being told they haven't accomplished enough for Bill.com today, and their plan for tomorrow isn't good enough, the really good workers leave and find a job where their boss doesn't look over their shoulder every day.

      Sounds to me like a daily scrum via video conference. Any decent scrum master would tell the client that overall progress is for the retrospective and priorities is for the sprint planning, the daily meeting is about impediments. As in what is causing problems delaying/blocking progress, turning out to be much more complicated than expected, any need for advice or assistance, any unresolved design issues that must be debated and decided and so on. The business owner can certainly be there to stay informed a

      • by swilver ( 617741 )

        Agreed, they lost me at "What did they do for X yesterday..."

        There's nothing more boring than hearing what happened yesterday and where everyone gets a turn to speak...

        My ideal stand-up goes:

        "Anyone currently blocked? No? Get back to work."

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Status reports are common in the industry; done them for many orgs. However, they are usually summarized and weekly because nobody wants to hear about specific widget properties and fiddling one typically has to do every day. That's a waste of most people's time. Sure, there are exceptions when there's a logjam, but for the most part managers don't have the time for day-level details. I suspect this particular situation will end up the same way in the longer term.

  • by plague911 ( 1292006 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:00PM (#54917827)
    Their pitch was basically "We are not complete and utter shit like Infosys or Wipro." Which provided a startling level of value to customers.
  • So...mr. Trump... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:03PM (#54917833) Journal

    ...was actually onto something?

    Keep jobs - American. Well played, sir!

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:27PM (#54917893) Journal

      I think we have to give Trumpo some credit. He shook the overseas-based outsourcing market by introducing fear, uncertainty, and doubt into it such that companies are less likely to want to depend on it exclusively or heavily.

      His most effective strategy has been the bully pulpit. Getting legislation passed has been a bear for him, and Executive Orders have had relatively limited impact compared to other newly elected Presidents.

      In addition to overseas outsourcing, border crossings appear to be down, possibly on the threat that he'll make life difficult for undocumented visitors.

      Some also give him credit for the alleged stock market surge by promising to cut taxes and regulation, although the stock trends have been arguably the same for about 6 years if one ignores smaller bumps and dips.

      USA has a new 4th branch of gov't: the Shouting Branch...or the Twitter Branch.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        His most effective strategy has been the bully pulpit.

        I don't think Trump is the definition of "bully" that Teddy had in mind.

        • You mean like those jobs at Carrier that ended up not going to Mexico because the government provided millions in tax incentives so they can open an automated plant in the US? The jobs are still gone. Mission failed, same as every other Trump claim.

          • Carrier (Score:5, Informative)

            by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @09:25AM (#54919473)

            Carrier manufactures both heaters & air conditioners. The heater jobs were saved, while the Air Conditioners went to Mexico. I forget the numbers, but the bulk of those jobs were saved. There is no way Carrier would pull a fast one, since Trump is willing to wave the existing government contracts & threaten them w/ losing those should they renege on their promises.

            • Those jobs were saved for a year or two. Carrier plans to automate the portion of the workforce they "saved" with a grant of $7million from the tax payers paying for that automation. In the end the Tax payers will have ended up paying millions for a few dozen jobs after the rest are automated out of existence.

              You are ignorant if you don't understand that.

              • It's worse - the workers actually paid (through taxes) for the robots that will replace them. Same as Uber drivers are paying for the development of self-driving cars that will replace the drivers. The only difference is that Carrier managed to get the public to subsidize its' switch to a more automated facility, thanks to then-governor Pence.
              • The issue was Carrier jobs going to Mexico, not them being automated. The president did what he could to prevent the former. As far as the latter goes, there is no policy on either side that deals w/ automation. I do think there should be, but it's disingenuous to conflate automation and offshoring
        • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

          Back then "bully" was sometimes slang for "good" or "friendly", but detractors of the President still used or implied the "mean" interpretation. Bad overloading is not just done by lousy API designers.

      • I think we have to give Trumpo some credit. He shook the overseas-based outsourcing market by introducing fear, uncertainty, and doubt into it such that companies are less likely to want to depend on it exclusively or heavily.

        Did he?

        You don't need people to cross borders to do software development for you.

        • Did he?

          You don't need people to cross borders to do software development for you.

          It's not just the illegals though. He is also pushing restrictions on work visas and a very strong "america first" message. This causes FUD across the board. Noone wants to spend money on outsourcing to India just to see the rug pulled out from under them. And let's not forget that India has a large muslim population. It currently isn't being targeted but that introduces more FUD if all of a sudden you can no longer travel between the USA and India for training, etc...

      • Re:So...mr. Trump... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <.mojo. .at. .world3.net.> on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:54AM (#54918821) Homepage Journal

        Hard to say on this one. The tide was already turning against off-shoring due to low quality and other problems. Maybe Trump accelerated it, maybe it's just being reported differently because it's something he promised to do.

      • I think we have to give Trumpo some credit.

        hahahaha... no. I mean, unless you can point to something he actually accomplished? Besides twitter rants?

        As usual, people vastly overstate the figurehead's ability to influence the economy.

        • There is a whole boatload of executive orders that he signed on a variety of things. Like on Health Care, asking the IRS not to pursue people who hadn't been paying their Obamacare fines. Or an EO requiring that for any new regulation added, 2 had to go (actually, in effect, it's been 1:9 or something). Or the EO allowing the extension of the Keystone & Dakota Access Pipelines, w/ American Steel. Aside from tax cuts, regulations have been a major eyesore for the economy, and it's here that POTUS has

          • None of those executive orders will have, or have had enough time to affect much of anything economically.

            If what he is trying to do is crazy enough that even the "we've completely lost our minds"-GOP won't follow through with it then I'd say that isn't a problem, that is a feature.

            Checks and balances and all that.. something those of us watching your dumpster fire from afar are pretty happy about right at the moment.

            • It's not about the time it's been in effect. It's about the effect it has had on businesses, who now make plans in anticipation of those regulations going away. As an analogy, the rise in the stock markets, even though tax reform is yet to happen, is a result of the expectation that it will happen. So that when it does pass, a lot of the effect would have been factored in already into the price. However, if it doesn't happen, one could see the markets tank

          • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

            The big picture here is not entirely about Trump and Trump's signature. His election win has proven that trade (including services) and visas/immigration may not flow so easy across borders in the future for geopolitical reasons. Thus, businesses decided to be less dependent on them on average.

        • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

          I guess he didn't do this too...
          http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      ...was actually onto something?

      Keep jobs - American. Well played, sir!

      Trump doesn't get credit for this. We've known this for decades. I'm working at a company where major chunks of the application were written by contractors and H1-B visas. Guess what? The house is on fire with design flaw tickets flying in left and right. Customers are pissed and escalating tickets left and right. Employees are leaving left and right. You get what you pay for.

      • True. But compounding this was what was perceived to be his policy - cracking down on H1B visas. As it is, companies have problems w/ the offshore work done, and now, to compound that, if they can't bring in those workers to train them live, it forces them to look within the US. Serves right those Indian companies who mainly focus on hiring Indians, like Tech Mahindra, Syntel, Infosys, et al

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:16PM (#54917869)

    You've already posted several stories from him.

    Why don't you just post his blog on the sidebar and help him earn money as an Amazon Associate?

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:20PM (#54917879)

    In 2012, I was hired at a company which did on-shoring, mainly COBOL and RPG programming for healthcare and insurance companies still running on AS400. They were trying to expand into a new vertical, SAS programming for analytics firms, which I was hired to lead.

    After being acquired by a large multinational which was mainly doing offshoring, it took less than 2.5 years to kill the onshoring and continue on their merry way with the traditional offshore work.

    Yes, onshoring is a great idea and needs to be sold more often, it's just going to be difficult with the offshoring companies buying them up and shutting them down.

  • by dave4 ( 5038527 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @12:01AM (#54917969)
    It's not so much the distance or the timezone that is a problem with India, or even the culture. It's the companies that run scam like business models by putting low quality engineers into place and training them on your clock. Recently Tata consultancy had a large round of firings of senior staff because engineers that are actually good at what they do would be expensive to retain and thus make less profit. There are many good engineers in India. But they work for the companies that pay well like Google or they become managers. If you buy cheap, you get what you pay for. One problem however is that there are not enough people going into software development and at one point the only way to get people is to look over the border.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      there are not enough people going into software development

      There's not a shortage of candidates. There's an inflation of employer desires. They want nothing but the absolute best and will not settle for someone rough around the edges but enthusiastic. Employers aren't interested in investing in employees. They will continue having labor and work quality problems until they change their perspective and value employees again. Their work doesn't happen without employees.

      Some, like myself, read all about how co

      • by dave4 ( 5038527 )
        So you're saying that companies should hire trainees. I bet that is actually being done already, but you would not earn much. Also, one of the most expensive things is bad programmers adding hidden bugs to your system. So most companies don't want to deal with that headache and either want good people, or push the problem to some external party. I actually also learned coding on my own and had to work for low wages the first few years. But it helps if you have some other engineering degree to prove you hav
      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        There's not a shortage of candidates. There's an inflation of employer desires. They want nothing but the absolute best and will not settle for someone rough around the edges but enthusiastic. Employers aren't interested in investing in employees. They will continue having labor and work quality problems until they change their perspective and value employees again. Their work doesn't happen without employees.

        This is certainly true at the entry-level. Every employer tries to have higher standards than everyone else, resulting in a few people getting hired at the big companies at near six figures first year, and most potentially competent young coders left out in the cold. Tragedy of the commons, really.

        But that's only entry-level. Mid career and senior engineers need to bring the proven skill at coding (in some vaguely-related language and problem domain, but the big employers are actually pretty flexible on

  • Inshoring (Score:5, Funny)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @12:13AM (#54917993)

    more of them are deciding that there is value in having developers in the same time zone, or at least on the same continent.

    Why not fly those Indian outsourced workers to Mexico, or Nunavut? Same time zone. If the workers act up, threaten to maroon them there. Better yet, North/South Pole, they're in EVERY time zone, simultaneously!

    • by swilver ( 617741 )

      You sound like those companies haven't considered that already...

      In my experience those outsourced workers are treated very poorly (wage slaves) that can get in big trouble if they don't live up to customer expectations. It's really sad actually that companies that treat their workers with the highest regard turn to outsourcing so they can indirectly treat workers like shit.

    • Both would be an improvement over India. Mexico has flush toilets. Nunavut has public health care that works for all - and you can always leave for any other part of the country.
    • They do that already.

      There are stories of ships floating off the east coast filled with cheap programmers working in international waters.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apparently my large company didn't see the memo, all new hiring is in India.
    Personally I have nothing against Indians they are trying to earn a livelihood like everyone else, although I will say there is often a language barrier which is not helped by shoddy network connectivity and network dropouts on calls, conference video, interviews, etc. and who has to deal with it, well not the CEO making the decisions! It's often not worth it.

    All companies that offshore should start with the administrative assista
  • by sabbede ( 2678435 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:37AM (#54918755)
    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz decided to outsource her IT support, bringing in someone from Pakistan to handle her's and the Party's. Because why pay an American to work in Washington when you can overpay a foreigner?

    I'm sorry, but I'm steamed that a representative of the American people decided not to hire Americans for her staff. Or her Party's staff. She could have created 4 million dollars worth of jobs here in the US, but hired someone from Pakistan to do a job that I'm pretty sure half of the American citizens reading this article could have done. I call it a betrayal of the people she is supposed to represent.

    • Funny thing is that she paid that Paki FOUR TIMES the salary of an IT worker: that guy got $160k/year. Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of offshoring? For that money, she could have hired anyone here at Slashdot who isn't a Bernie or a Trump fan

      • Well, DC has the highest cost of living in the nation, so I'd need $80-$90k before I'd move up there. That's still big savings for the taxpayers though.
        • How is paying a foreign IT specialist FOUR TIMES the average salary for the profession saving taxpayers money? And no, DC doesn't have the highest cost of living: that's still shared b/w Manhattan and San Francisco
          • No, paying ME $80-$90k/year would have saved the taxpayers money. As for the cost of living, I see what happened. I searched for cost of living in DC and got a map with CoL by State. So, while you're probably right (I assume you are, I just don't want to verify it right now), according to that map the CoL in DC is higher than the average CoL for any State.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @08:35AM (#54919247)

    I know most of the people posting here are looking at the issue of offshoring through the lens of a worker, who risks losing his job to someone in a low-cost labour jurisdiction, most likely India.

    Well, there's another angle to the issue, but the conclusions are surprisingly the same.

    I'm an employer - I have dozens of developers working for me, plus QA, doc, customer support, etc. We serve many large corporations, many of whom have outsourced some or all of their IT, usually to Indian firms.

    The results are *awful.* Indian IT talent is singularly incapable of accomplishing work.

    Before some of you start laying accusations of racism, let me first say a few things:

        * We have some folks from India in our team in North America. They are totally fine.
        * Some of the Indian folks we deal with in India are very smart.
        * Probably the smartest person I've ever met (during grad school) was from IIT in India.

    So I'm pretty confident in saying that yes, I'm biased against Indian IT outsourcing, but not against Indian people per-se.

    So what's the problem?

    I think it's culture. I'm definitely biased against Indian work culture, based on long experience dealing with its problems.

    What's wrong with that culture?

    #1. Extreme labour mobility. People who are smart and skilled tend to change jobs every 6-12 months. That means that by when they've learned to do a particular job, they stop doing it and move somewhere else for a 20% or 30% pay hike. This means that the smart ones never get any work done. Conversely, the not-so-smart ones stay in the same job for longer ... but they aren't productive because they aren't the best talent.

    #2. It's all about blame. Indian IT workers hate making decisions, because if they make a mistake, they might get fired, and they need the income to be steady - no social safety net as far as I can tell. So they don't make decisions. They don't sign off on design documents. They aren't decisive, not because they are personally incapable, but because the culture punishes risk takers. Instead, they escalate and blame, escalate and blame, never contributing or taking ownership. This is a huge productivity killer.

    #3. Brain drain. Life in India is hard. Brutal weather, shitty infrastructure, large cities with congestion and pollution, corrupt politics, security problems in the streets, poor sanitation and therefore disease. The best minds can and do leave. You'll find better Indian talent in the West than in India, because it's possible to move and desirable to move away.

    So why do firms keep off-shoring?

    a. Decisions are made by clueless accountants who think that hourly wages are a predictor of total cost and that people in different work cultures and time zones are functionally interchangeable. This is all nonsense, but decision makers believe it.

    b. Kickbacks and corruption in the West. I haven't personally seen an Indian firm pay off decision makers to send them business, but I have to assume it happens.

    c. Lemmings. Many decision makers are clueless so they just follow trends to cover for their own ineptitude. It's trendy to off-shore.

    d. Scale. If you need to hire 1000 people next week, you could probably do it in Bangalore, but you certainly can't in Boston. They'll be 1000 minimally productive people, but you can hire them.

    So why is 'off-shoring' turning into 'near-shoring'? Because some decision makers are waking up to the incessant disaster that is Indian IT outsourcing. Instead, it's better to send things to Romania, or Latin America, or the US rust belt, or Canada. Of course, none of that is easy, because you can't hire 1000 people at a go and there aren't huge IT outsourcing businesses that can quickly take on your needs, but on the other hand when you do finally get things going, you might actually get work done.

    One can only hope that (a) the Indian IT business figures out how to solve its intense dysfunctionality and (b) firms learn to off-shore to less awful jurisdictions.

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