In our Pulse Survey IT Outsourcing and Backsourcing: Are IT Jobs Returning to the U.S.?, we explored the extent to which IT organizations were still outsourcing IT needs. Suspecting that many were bringing offshored IT jobs and services back to the U.S. — which proved correct, 75.9% cited this as a priority — we delved further to understand how IT leaders perceived the issue.
One of the specifics we looked into was to see what actions IT leaders felt should be undertaken to keep IT jobs and solutions onshore. This question ignited a significant response, which generally fell into four categories.
Many advocated increasing the perks of doing business in America. Comments included:
- Lower the costs of doing business in the U.S.
- Government must make it better for jobs and companies to be here than it is to open somewhere else.
- Lower costs of support and maintenance for products.
- I think they should add U.S. positions to the affirmative action plan and not allow more of a percentage of offshore resources than they would allow white or male resources.
- I think the State of Ohio should more aggressively market the in-state outsourcing businesses that are located here. If more companies knew about it and knew the details, we would keep more business in the state.
Some pointed directly to a need for tax breaks or government-sponsored incentives. Comments included:
- Federal tax cuts and other financial incentives for businesses that hire American workers.
- Provide tax breaks for keeping jobs on-site.
- Provide incentives to increase supply of talent onshore.
- Develop incentives for onshore development.
- Incent businesses to provide on-shore positions.
Others were less specific, urging for more research and/or a bigger picture analysis. Comments included:
- Research actual value obtained against consequences to business and national workforce.
- Look at all of the associated costs.
- Government can mandate, but smart people will find a way around the barriers....Nature abhors a vacuum.
- As I mentioned, the focus should be on increasing business overall.
- They need to better assess the WHOLE cost of off-shoring work to other countries.
- Tough one. The economy needs to get better for IT departments to staff up to handle the kinds of work that might otherwise be off-shored.
- For the most part businesses don't recognize in-house IT as an asset, it is purely an expense to be cut and streamlined wherever possible. An attitude shift needs to happen around in-house IT before keeping it local and in house can become a priority.
By far the biggest response came from IT leaders who felt that education and training were the answer. Comments included:
- Development and support of formal skills particularly in the BA roles.
- Have more attractive educational paths (not necessarily 4-year college degree programs) that produce specialized IT skills around infrastructure management and major package expertise knowledge (SAP, Peoplesoft, Oracle, etc.) instead of 4-year degree programs that produce general business analyst graduates. We are outsourcing the "hows" not the "whats."
- Offer tax incentives and training reimbursement to ensure a skilled professional population can perform these jobs onshore.
- It starts with resources, so yes: teach and hire.
- Develop software development and analytical skills.
- Encourage undergraduate students to enter IT and engineering programs vs. liberal arts majors that lead to unemployment upon graduation.
- Cooperation between universities and businesses to develop homegrown talent through fellowships, internships, etc.
- Be as competitive educationally as possible. Keep up the standards.
- Businesses need to provide continuous training and are being shortsighted when they do not keep their own staffs up-to-date with know-how and skills.
- Educational Institutions — yes, I think they can help by promoting the IT field as a profession and they can work more closely with businesses to ensure curriculums are aligned with businesses' needs.
- Educational institutions should work more closely with businesses to be sure people get the correct education to fill the jobs.
Where do you stand on this timely issue? Let us know by contacting STAR BASE at 513.245.0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Download the full survey report here.