Insource IT Jobs Not Outsource
After staying in Bangalore, India for more time than any self-concerning human ever should, I have come to the conclusion that outsourcing IT jobs is an archaic practice that necessitates far too much overhead for the meager goals it sets out to accomplish. An IT professional is essentially a telemarketer or a customer service representative. Before the great outsourcing boom of this past decade, these were jobs that were held by high school drop outs and other unskilled laborers in the USA. It was the bottom of the employment barrel that did this “Information Technology” work. These jobs are now performed by highly educated Indians in huge skyscraper office complexes. The profession of telemarketing has reached a seriously ridiculously high degree of sophistication.
Now that the US economy is in shambles and the under-educated rabble are finding themselves jobless, I say re-import these IT jobs for Americans to do them from their own homes, on their own computer equipment. This would require no offices, no buildings, and little overhead. They would not even have to be paid much money. This seems like a much cheaper alternative to building huge skyscraper infrastructures in countries like India and the Philippians.
In the autumn of 2007 I visited a plethora of call centers around Bangalore in southern India. I talked with the Indian workers, their American supervisors, and obtained a decent impression of how the outsourcing IT game worked. I eventually came to the conclusion that very highly educated young Indians are doing the work that high school dropouts once did in the USA. I almost pitied these fellows, who seemed to feel themselves on the upper tier of a new idea of a changing India.
What I saw was the same old story: Indians doing the dirty work of the West, and priding themselves for it.
I asked an American supervisor at a Dell computers call center if he thought that the recent boom of the Indian IT industry was a temporary phenomenon; I asked him if he thought that the Indian call centers would be left barren when the Western companies whose customer service divisions that they took on find new, cheaper horizons.
He shrugged off my questions. What cheaper horizon could their be than India?
Simply put, Indian call centers and the entire IT industry seem far too top heavy and requires far too extensive of an infrastructure for me to think that they could be profitable for any real span of time. They were a budding idea, but it is my impression that they will not bloom to fruition. I simply can not believe that building tall skyscrapers, outfitting offices with computer goods, employing overseas staff as trainers, and paying an army of young Indians $4,000 a year could be cheaper than hiring Americans to do call center jobs from the comfort of their own homes on their own computer equipment. I cannot believe that a country can revolutionize itself on the strength of telemarketing and customer service.
Could Americans do IT jobs from their own homes on their own computer equipment?
I don’t know, but I assume it is a good possibility. Yes, as I was sitting in my family’s home in Western New York State it became apparent to me that I probably had all of the tools needed to satisfy call center responsibilities. It became apparent that with a high functioning computer, a high-speed internet connection, a headset, and perhaps some sort of computer program that I could be a call center employee from my mom’s bedroom.
And why not?
[adsense]To test my theory I asked my brother in law, Rory, who works in an office if he could do his job completely, 100% from home. He answered in the affirmative without hesitation. He does it sometimes. It is just a matter of convention that office workers still go to a workplace. It is my impression that, with the recent state of the economy, the corporate office is a thing of the past. It is my impression that companies will soon realize that they can save millions of dollars by having their employees work from home. No office is needed, each employee’s bedroom could serve as a company’s remote office. A small yearly equipment stipend to each employee removes the need from purchasing thousands of computers. There is no need to employee cleaning personnel, because there is no place to be cleaned; there is no need to hire security guards, because there is no place to protect. There is no rent to pay, no property tax. I conjecture to say that an entire corporation could be run from a single room. Simple, bare boned business.
The office is a thing of the past.
And good riddance.
Insource IT jobs not outsource.
Insource the plethora of simple IT jobs to unemployed Americans in the USA rather than build skyscrapers, offices, global communications teams, hiring cleaners, security guards, securing foreign worker housing options, and, in point, building a brink and mortar infrastructure for a business that is nearly 100% virtual.
It is my impression that the stay at home moms, unemployed dads, university students, high school students, and old folks of the USA could easily field the responsibilities of the call center from their own homes. They can take an online training course, get paid by commission, and essentially do customer service work without any commercial infrastructure with computer equipment that they already possess.
It seems archaic to build skyscrapers for people who work on computers or telephones. People have computers and telephones in their own homes, use them.
Insource not outsource.
But, in reality, who, besides a university graduate in India, wants to be a telemarketer?
1/16/2009 13:25:24 Bob L says . . .
There are many people in the USA doing these jobs from their home computers and this has been going on for a LONG time.
1/16/2009 20:34:30 rv-boondocker-explorer says . . .
You raise some really interesting questions. I have called call-centers and been astonished when they sounded middle-American. And I even told them that I loved having a clear connection with someone who spoke English as a first language.
Listening to Indian-jabber is one reason why I never sign up for extended warranties these days. So the outsourcer is losing my business.
1/17/2009 2:24:24 Craig from www.travelvice.com says . . .
Dad works for Oracle, and has for about two decades now. 10 years ago they figured out that it was cheaper to have many of their employees work from home than to rent office space downtown, so since the mid/late 90’s he’s been doing as much.
He manages software development, and much of his team has since moved to Buenos Aires. So the IT jobs are coming back to the Americas, just not America. Latin American countries like Argentina have the knowledge workers, the infrastructure, and the low paychecks. Perfect Trifecta.
Wade says . . .
Yeah, I suppose the people involved in this office working thing know about it more than me haha. I knew that doing office work from home was on the rise, but I was not aware that it was such a developed practice. Thanks for the knowledge.
1/18/2009 3:59:18 Outsource Secrets Revealed fromhttp://www.outsourcesecretsrevealed.com says . . .
I don’t think you’ll be able to find any Americans who would work 40 hours a week calling people or answering phones for $4000 a year.
But you might be able to get some of them working for $7 an hour and pay them $25,000 a year.
Wade says . . .
Did you read what I wrote?