Read about everything that pisses me the hell off.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Joys of outsourcing....

My apologies for being absentee for so long. Between laziness, the holidays and sickness I've not been inspired to really get a rant on.. But well.. Now I'm back with a vengeance.

So, for my triumphant return.. Let's talk about why outsourcing is a bad idea.

Through my life I've had a lot of weird reasons for days off of whatever it is that I've had to do; be it school or work. I've had Snow days, Flood days, bomb threat days, burst waterpipe days, even "Oops we spilled too much chemicals in the air ducts" days. I've never gotten out of anything for a RIOT day though.

Yet this morning I come in to work and receive an email telling me that our "counterparts" in India aren't in today due to riots! Man. I'm so jealous they have one up on me.

Now, I bet when you first started reading this, you figured it would be the typical "bad for the economy, stealing jobs from Americans, evil corporations" sort of tirade. While I believe all that, sometimes things like that are hard to prove as the real issue. Here however is hard evidence of one of the reasons that outsourcing is bad. That part of the world is just not stable.

It's not a knock on the people, even though I do think their customer service skills are substandard. However, how can a company risk things like political assasination, riots, natural disasters, famine, disease, whatever it is, when you are talking about storing secure data, code and confidential information in these places? Does anyone feel safe knowing their bank and credit card information is being stored on a site where employees get a day off for riots? No but then a gain, most people problably don't know that sort of data is being stored there. Granted, if the office was in South Central, that COULD happen, but that's a different story. This is a part of the world where political violence is a normal tool for change. This is NOT a good thing.

Not to mention that the laws in these countries governing confidentiality and privacy are completely different than the laws in the united states. Data stored in these places are NOT protected by the constitution. They are at the mercy of whatever government happens to be in power at the time. Riot days do not lend me to believe in governmental stability.

Information can be stolen. It can be lost, or worse, it could be hijacked and held hostage. It's not necessarily the same emotionally as a plane full of US citizens, but it's potentially more dangerous to a lot more people.

Another aspect of this. What about companies with government contracts that are storing sensitive US government data on site? Is this not a risk to the US much worse than me going through the airport with a shaving razor or box cutter in my pocket? Yet this is overlooked for things like "cost reductions" and "bottom lines". What's worse, the government is willing to turn a blind eye to this as well?

Some people say that it's not the government's place to legislate things like offshoring, and with that I'd agree. However, as a customer, I believe it's well within the Government's rights to insist that it's sensitive data be kept within it's own shores. Hmm.. Wait a second, what the hell am I talking about? As CITIZENS, we should DEMAND that if the US government is going to do business with these people, that the data be kept within OUR boarders. Thus limiting the risk of things like Ravi Chalkajsdlajsnv being assasinated and our data stolen and used against us.

Let's dispel another myth while were at it. It really irks me when offshoring manufacturing is compared to offshoring IT and data storage. There is a large difference between building guitars, cars and steel and keeping confidential data. Anyone who can't see that.. Well.. Buy a clue. Either that or they haven't realized that we've moved on from an industrial age to an information age. Which, considering my fellow American's lack of historical knowledge, well, that's another rant in and of itself.

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I read about the riots on Yahoo News. The best line in the article: "The gunmen are still at large, having escaped on a scooter." HA!

I picture five guys with uzis crammed on one scooter fleeing the scene...
*put* *put* *put* *put* *put* *put* *put*
If the government provided the training, companies would outsource a lot of their work to prisons in a second (I believe it has already occurred to some extent). Osama himself could probably win a contract or two if he knew something about Windows. Just as long as someone saves a buck while another is out of a job.... makes me just want to run outside and sing "America the Beautiful" at the top of my lungs.
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