Gartner on Offshore Outsourcing

By Deane Barker on December 9, 2003

The Organizational Implications of Offshore Outsourcing: Gartner has some words on offshore outsourcing. Application developers, screwed. System admins, less so.

A reality check is warranted: Offshore outsourcing will not be applicable to all enterprises, all IS roles or all IS professionals. For now, offshore outsourcing tends to concentrate on application development and application maintenance, which together represent about 25 percent of the IS staff count and 25 percent of the total IT budget.

Infrastructure roles and skills, representing about 35 percent of IS staff count and 40 percent of the IT budget, are only nominally outsourced today. In infrastructure, however, the concern is less about displacement by distant IT workers and more about displacement by IT automation. IS professionals are not powerless in the matter. They can reposition themselves for new roles and new enterprises and start differentiating themselves professionally.