If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, You Might have to Consider Joining Them
How to survive the technological trend to offshore outsourcing
Unfortunately for many professionals in the Technology industry, offshoring outsourcing IT work to India, Romania and other countries is on the rise. As corporations discover that they can get technical projects completed to their specifications for sometimes ridiculously low cost, odds are they’re not going to stop and consider the impact this trend will have on domestic workers.
We’d be foolish to think that corporate America will actually forego profit to save our economy. Consequently, IT professionals in the United States can either sit back and complain about lost opportunities to offshore outsourcing or they can step up and take a look on the positive side. And fortunately for those who aren’t afraid to alter their focus, there is definitely a positive side. It’s obvious that the days of being just a coder or programmer are coming to an end.
If you’re unwilling or unable to make the adjustments that are going to be necessary to survive, you may just want to start considering a new career. With a new direction and focus, however, you just may find yourself in a very lucrative position.
What kind of sacrifices do IT professionals have to be willing to make to stay competitive?
To survive the move to offshore outsourcing and actually come out on top, IT professionals are going to have to hone skills that are not considered technical in nature. Communication skills, especially with non-native Americans are going to have to be top-notch. Short of learning foreign languages, it’s going to be imperative that professionals at least have an understanding of the cultural differences and a willingness to travel. Superior writing and speaking skills will be a must so if you don’t feel yours are up to par, now’s the time to enroll in a technical writing course or a public speaking class.
Interpersonal communication skills will be mandatory. Strong listening skills and the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely will be extremely important. Professionals will no longer be able to hide behind computer monitors and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist. Business knowledge as well as industry specific expertise is a must if an IT professional is going to compete with offshore outsourcing.
Since the general labor of the technology is what is really being outsourced, American companies are going to have a high depend for management teams that can coordinate and often lead the projects being outsourced. Consequently, experience working with teams in multiple locations, specifically other countries will be a plus as well as the ability to manage these teams via email, videoconferencing and remote communication.
Offshore outsourcing will create IT opportunities in the United States
Some of the opportunities that outsourcing offshore will open up in the field of technology include; project leads and managers, systems analysts, quality assurance managers, software quality engineers, and echnical leads. Now is the time to start preparing yourself for the eventual. You know it’s going to happen and if your resume doesn’t include the skill sets mentioned above, now’s the time to start taking those classes and honing these types of skill sets.
If you’re currently working in an IT position within a corporation that isn’t outsourcing, force yourself to consider the possiblity. Take the time to identify potential positions within your organization that may be a candidate for outsourcing and start to position yourself as someone who could lead the transition. If you’re currently stuck in a position you’re not happy with, it may just be to your benefit to lead the charge. Suggesting outsourcing if you’re positioned to handle the management of the project just may allow you to refocus your career and assume a new position.
Many of the techies currently in positions in the United States may feel as if they’re in a lose/lose situation. With a little forethought, advance planning and hard work, offshore outsourcing just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to the American IT Professional.