As I was browsing through the forums at Arstechnica, I came across a post titled "Alternatives to outsourcing?".
Being an IT consultant, this immediately caught my attention.
I read in Time, a while back, that a few companies were experimenting with insourcing, or the idea of setting up shop in areas of the US where the cost of living is low.
As the Net has spread and the amount of bandwidth has increased, to me,
physical location is becoming less and less important as communication
via the Net has become more accessible. From video chat to VoIP,
the reality of a truly distributed team unit is getting ever closer to
reality. Hopefully, WiMax will get us over that next hurdle of "the last mile" and truly network the entire nation.
What kind of strikes me as odd is that, even though most (probably
every) software developer or IT consultant has a broadband connection,
why I still have to show up at the office every day. To be
honest, for the 9 months that I've worked here, a total of 4 of those
months were spent on "The Bench" (some refer to it as "The
Beach"). I know some people that can't work at home due to the
inability to focus or other distractions like spouses or children, but
that's not the case with me and I'd happily and productively (somehow
this doesn't seem like proper grammar) work from home. It
wouldn't be so bad if I could show up in jeans and a dress shirt, which
I did for the first few months, but now we have this silly business
casual dress code (yes, I'm being picky), and I have to wear
khakis. Tucked. Blah!
Okay, back on topic :-). To be honest, I could do my job just as
well from my fictional house in rural Georgia or South Dakota, provided
I have a broadband connection. And I'd rather be doing
that than living in Jersey. Traffic congestion is horrible and I
think it lessens my lifespan by 20 minutes each day (the amount of
extra time it takes me to get to work due to traffic). For the
price of a small townhouse in Jersey, I could build a huge, 4 bedroom castle in Kansas. In fact, Kansas offers free residential land
to encourage people to move out there. Not only that, they offer
free commercial land and lots of monetary incentives to set up shop out
So the question stands, what's wrong with insourcing and why don't we
see more of it? Certainly, while it's not as cheap as
outsourcing/offshoring, I think it's a better investment in the long
run considering the state of our economy and the good press it can
bring a company willing to invest in the American people.