Friday, August 28, 2009

Labour is not just labour

I am doing some consulting for an international company. Seeing how departments in different countries of the company tries to solve the same problem has been a great experience.

I work and live in Denmark, and with high salaries you would think that here it would be very popular to outsource IT tasks to low budget countries. Well it isn't. It's not that companies haven't realized that labour is cheaper elsewhere, it just doesn't fit the way we work.

For one thing there is the language barrier. Although most people in Denmark speak english, this is not the language of choice for defining business rules. If business rules were to be implemented in another country all the business rules would have to be translated, loosing a few in the process. Thats quite an overhead to manage.

Another thing is that we are used to having people as the most expensive resource in anything we do. This means that we are used to working smart. Saving time is one of the most valuable features of your work. We are used to having very flat organisation structures with 'Agile' processes and rapid feedback. Offshoring just doesn't fit into this way of working. It would require much more strict project organisations.

The kind of work we could outsource would be the repetitive work but I think we are used to ulitize the computer for repetitive work which is what it is good at.

Some places converting data would be a manual task, but that is not common in Denmark. As labour is expensive, it's much cheaper to let a computer do the conversion.

Although I see the potential of offshoring IT development for the right assigments, I'm not seeing it being much of a success anytime soon in Denmark.

No comments:

Post a Comment