We’ve all heard about programmers losing their jobs when businesses outsource software development or system administration duties to teams overseas or even to onsite people working for foreign companies. To add insult to injury, some of us have been asked to train our own replacements. It’s normal to initially feel angry about the newcomers and harbor a sense of betrayal toward our employers, but the reality is that a new world has emerged. Economic and social borders have disappeared as global markets and instant telecommunications allow business processes to be performed almost anywhere, anytime. A vast labor market of motivated, talented IT workers from India and other developing regions is looking for work and can be easily engaged by contracting the services of Wipro, Infosys, Tata, and other Business Process outsourcing (BPO) companies. does it make sense to blame foreign workers for wanting to improve their economic situation, or employers who are looking to gain flexibility and efficiency?
Instead, we may want to educate organizations that solely focus on short-term savings and overlook other factors that impact the outsourcing equation. We need to alert management to these other considerations and position ourselves to take advantage of new opportunities that will inevitably arise in this tumultuous period. This article provides an overview of the forces of globalization so we can better recognize technological and societal trends. It also offers some practical tips on how to prepare to take on new tasks and how to market ourselves to management to create an awareness of the value programmers provide to an organization.
What’s Globalization About Anyway?
When people talk about a shrinking, interconnected world, they’re referring to globalization. There are many facets to globalization; it’s best understood through a multi-disciplinary approach that takes into account technology, economics, politics, sociology, and management. Although some forms of globalization have been evident throughout history, the effects have been especially pervasive today. This is a consequence of growing integration of economies and societies fueled by communications technology and the media.
Supporters of globalization argue that the spread of democratic ideals and capitalism will lead to eventual improvements in standards of living worldwide. They propose that free markets will let people in less developed countries gain economic opportunities they couldn’t enjoy before. opponents assert that free markets provide multi-national corporations with the ability to ignore labor and cultural practices, human rights, and environmental standards to increase their profits.
Globalization means instant telecommunications and modern transportation now prevail over economic barriers and political boundaries that previously insulated countries from each other’s influence and economic pressures. of paramount importance is how governments respond to the displacement of IT professionals as a consequence of globalization and to what extent the middle class in highwage countries will shrink in the future. Workers currently excluded from the workforce will require specialized job training programs to reenter the job market. new and recent entrants into the job market require entirely different preparation to be able to compete, as developed countries position themselves as knowledge- based economies rather than competing with inexpensive labor or by exploiting natural resources.
A broad understanding of globalization and its effects on knowledge based professions will benefit IT management and technical experts as global competition forces organizations to innovate and continually adapt. Companies will need to train and deploy their staff in new ways to maintain flexibility and competitiveness. This includes effective use of technology to support collaboration and increasing cultural awareness to enhance team building across geographic and organizational boundaries.
Figure 1 indicates many of the facets of globalization in general and outsourcing in particular. Using a framework of lenses or perspectives, we can see the large picture of a complex process. It’s simplistic to look at outsourcing as purely an economic or technical decision, since globalization and its effects on outsourcing contain cultural, legal, organizational, educational, and political aspects.
Outsourcing to Distribute Work