Outsourcing – A Personal Experience

Christopher Kenton writes about his experience with outsourcing, and why he is losing enthusiasm for it.

I'm not going to recount all the issues and arguments about why I started exploring overseas labor markets, as it tends to spark an explosion of angry mail. Instead, I'm going to stick to the results I've experienced, and some trends that I've seen that confirm my belief that while outsourcing represents a serious risk to the stability of our economy, I doesn't spell the end of American enterprise, as many critics claim.

Let's start with the details. Since the first project I outsourced to Argentina and wrote about in this column, I've worked on projects outsourced to Brazil, to multiple groups in India, and I've reviewed proposals from China, Poland, the Philippines, Taiwan and Russia (see BW Online, 4/11/03, "The Woman behind the Code"). On every project that I considered outsourcing, I also solicited bids from American programmers, and about 60% of the time, Americans won the business. I see no sign of that success rate diminishing for American programmers, and in fact, I see a few signs that lead me to suspect it may grow.

Interesting. I see a trend arising. I think managers have begun to realize that outsourcing is not the cost cutting panacea it is often assumed to be.