Onshore vs. Offshore


Matt Lockhart of Magenic Technologies, Inc. posted an excellent article at TechLinks a while back on things that need to be considered when determining whether development work should be done on or offshore.

Among others, Lockhart draws attention to topics such as budget, relationship management, onsite travel, CMM considerations, the risks of miscommunication, and economic and political risks that need to be carefully weighed out before deciding to go offshore.

The way I see it, offshore outsourcing of IT work – chiefly development and QA – is not going away. Those of us stateside will have to learn to adapt and thrive in this new type of environment in order to remain marketable. For many of us, retooling may be necessary.

From a business analyst’s perspective, I’m not so naive as to think that my role couldn’t possibly be performed overseas, but I don’t think that the role of the onshore BA is going away anytime soon. I’ve alluded elsewhere on this blog to the notion that the business analyst role can be at least as much a business role as an IT role. Until companies start farming out their marketing, finance and operations to offshore MBA’s – and I don’t see that happening anytime soon – then there should remain plenty of work for the BA in helping define business problems and objectives and refining business processes.

Anyway, if you’re interested at all in the dynamics and trade-offs involved in offshore vs. onshore development arrangements, I think you’ll find this read well worth your while.


1 Comment

  1. JB, I don’t see that any role is safe as you say. I’ll give you an example. Reuters is a British company. It’s had domestic CEOs since it was created over 100 years ago. It’s current CEO is an American working out of New York. As Bob Dylan sang, “for the times they are a-changin.” We need to think differently about our roles. This presents tremendous opportunity for all of us when we view our roles differently as your potential customers for your talents are no longer tied to the customers within your commuting distance.

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