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OUTSOURCE: Competing in the Global Productivity Race

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OUTSOURCE: Competing in the Global Productivity Race


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  • Copyright 2005
  • Dimensions: 6x9
  • Pages: 272
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-147571-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-147571-7

Brain Drain does not focus on just the IT phenomenon, though it continues to be one of the more prominent examples because of recent media coverage of outsourcing. The focus of this book is more on strategies and guidelines for coping--at the individual, corporate, and national level ---with a phenomenon that's alraady here, and alresy "mainstream" in nature. The real focus of this book is on the individual. After all, it has been individuals who have emailed Ed continually, ever since the publication of Decline and Fall of the American Programmer. It's individual knowledge workers, far more often than corporate executives, who run the risk of losing their jobs as a result of this global shift of products and services. And it's individuals, as several correspondents have reminded me in recent months, who have to advise their children what careers and professions they should follow -- and the outcome of those choices will ultimately have a far more profound effect than a politician's modification of a visa quota.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Introduction to Outsourcing

Outsourcing: Likely Trends for the Next Decade

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.

2. Key Factors Driving Outsourcing.


    The Influence of Lower-Cost Workers.

    Secondary Factors: Productivity and Quality.

    Additional Factors: Availability, Manageability, and So On.

    New Factor: Dramatic Improvements in Infrastructure.

    New Factor: Political Changes.

    New Factor: The Post-Dot-Com Recession.

3. Today’s Situation in It.


    Data Entry.

    Call Center/Help Desk.

    Maintenance/Enhancement Work and Infrastructure Admin Support.

    Traditional Software Development: Body Shop, Project, Full IT Department Replacement.

    Creation and Marketing of Software Products.

4. Additional Forms of Outsourcing.


     Data Entry: The Bottom of the Food Chain.

    Call-Center/Help-Desk Services.

    Back-Office Work.

    Clinical Trials.

    Insurance Claim Processing.

    Mortgage/Loan Applications.

    Tax Filing and Regulatory Filings.

    Financial/Market Research.

    Legal Work.

    Conclusion: What About Your Profession?

5. Likely Trends for the Next Decade


    Offshore IT and Call Centers Are Now Mainstream.

    Many Other Industries Are Where IT Was in the Mid-1990s.

    Work Is Expanding to Other Countries: China, Eastern Europe, and Others.

    Potential “External” Factors.

      Political Backlash.


      Economic Upheavals.

    Other Industries Provide Models.

    Possible Novel Twists on Outsourcing.

      Personal Outsourcing.

6. Implications for the Individual.


    Initial Caveats.

      Is Outsourcing a “Blip” or a “Sea Change”?

      It’s Unlikely to Be All-or-Nothing, Unless You’re in a One-Company Town.

      Political “Protection” Unlikely, at Least in the Short Term.

    Variations for the Individual.

      Age, Years of Experience.


      “Commodity” Nature of Skills/Profession.

      Flexibility: The Ability to Shift Quickly.


      Be Proactive.

      Quantify and Protect Your “Cost-Benefit” Value Proposition.

      Look for Innovative or Specialized Niches.

      Be Prepared to Work Harder.

      Be Prepared to Relocate.

      Consider Going Out on Your Own.

      Consider a Career Change.

    Ethical Issues.

    What Should You Tell Your Kids?

7. Implications for Companies Supplying Knowledge-Based Services.


    General Strategies.

    Revisiting the Strategies for Individuals.

      Be Proactive.

      Quantify Your “Cost-Benefit” Value Proposition.

      Look for Innovative or Specialized Niches.

      Be Prepared to Work Harder.

      Be Prepared to Relocate Geographically.

      Consider Starting Your Own Business.

      Consider Changing Careers.

    If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them.

8. Implications for Companies Buying Knowledge-Based Products or Services.


    Traditional Outsourcing Issues.

      Don’t Outsource Core Competencies.

      Don’t Outsource What You Can’t Manage In-house.

      Start Small, with a Pilot Project.

      Measure Your Expectations with Service Level Agreements.

    Learn from Veterans.

    Peopleware Issues.

      Give Your Employees a Chance to Compete.

      Don’t Expect Employees to be Dupes.

      Treat Outsourced Employees Honestly and Fairly.

9. Implications for Government and Society.


    Objectives and Strategic Focus.

      The Wal-Mart Factor.

       What Role Should the Nation’s Leaders Play?

      Strategic Focus: Top Down or Bottom Up?


      A Non-Jobs Protectionist Issue: Security and Privacy.

    National Investment in What Makes Us Competitive.

      Encourage Immigration.

      Invest in Education.

      Invest in Infrastructure.

      Change Tax/Accounting Rules to Encourage Long-Term Investment in Workers and Productivity Improvement.


10. Conclusion.


    Other Issues Besides Offshore Outsourcing.

    America Itself Practiced Offshore Outsourcing of Knowledge-Based Products and Services.

    Outsourcing Is Not a New Phenomenon.

    Your Future Is in Your Hands.



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