Globalization and Offshoring
of Software Revisited
In 2003–2004, the computing community
in the U.S. suddenly realized it had lost its
“monopoly” on software. India’s IT industry
had been growing at an exponential rate for
a few years by then, driven by offshoring and outsourcing of IT services.
The bottom line, therefore, is one
of a thriving computing field, with projections of continued growth for years
to come. The difference is the field
is now global, and so is the competition. Such competition is moving up
the skill ladder. Companies, including
start-ups, are learning how to access
and use higher skill levels in developed
countries. We are seeing new research
labs and increasing national research
investment in India and China. We
are also seeing an increase in the total worldwide investment in research
and a wider distribution of research
activities around the world. These are
all signs of a thriving global field, with
intense global competition.
Can offshoring be ignored? Absolutely not! We must continue monitoring employment and wage trends, as
well as global R&D trends, to assess its
ongoing impact. To stay competitive
in a global IT environment and industry, countries must adopt policies that
invest in R&D and foster innovation.
Policies that improve a country’s ability to attract, educate, and retain the
best IT talent are critical. Education is
a primary means for both developed
and developing countries to mount a
response to offshoring so their work
forces can compete globally for IT jobs.
So how do countries and individuals
thrive in a global computing world? Invest, innovate, develop, produce, educate, compete. Simple.
Moshe Y. Vardi, eDIToR-In-ChIeF