U.S. Companies Not Keeping Pace With New Competitive World Order in Technology and Telecom

Found an interesting article on global competitive position of U.S. technology companies.

A new world order of competition is emerging in the global technology and telecommunications industries.

But most North American companies are not keeping pace with the changes, according to a new study conducted by two executive thought leadership organizations, in cooperation with global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

In fact, two-thirds of the more than 300 North American executives surveyed say they have not even instituted formal practices for tracking and analyzing their competition.

Is Offshore Outsourcing Good or Bad for the US Economy

Here is an interesting article on outsourcing [link removed, article no longer available] from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

It seems the economists are still trying to come to agreement on whether outsourcing causes short or long term dislocations in the US job market.

Some interesting statistics are mentioned, such as a prediction of over 200,000 jobs lost each year until 2015, which is “a trivial problem in the context of the normal chrun of the U.S. economy, where about 7 million jobs were gaind and lost in each of the last four quarters.”

Unfortunately the article’s conclusion is that “Education and reeducation is an investment we can’t afford to outsource.” Of course not, especially since the author of the article is from academia.

But since we are messing up the education thing bad enough the first time through the system, why give them another shot and more money to squander?

How about a little entrepreneurship instead of “reeducation”?

What if Outsourced Software Was Free?

Russell Roberts wrote an interesting article on outsourcing that is well worth the read. This was written back in February, but makes a great point:

…suppose Indians decided to work for free and give away the software, the ultimate competitive threat. If outsourcing work to low-wage Indians is bad, surely free software from zero-wage Indians is even worse.
Free software would be hard for the U.S. workers in the software industry to compete with. But it would be a boon for America—plenty of U.S. outfits would expand. Having free software would let a lot of new companies come into existence that couldn’t have been profitable before. Programs at no cost would mean lower prices across the board. That would liberate resources to do new things all over the economy. Many of those out-of-work American programmers would find new jobs. The same effect occurs when the software is merely cheaper, rather than free.

The macroeconomic view of things is different from the personal view, where someone is worried about their income, job, savings etc. The important thing is to position yourself correctly, because economic trends will always drive individuals.

Advanced Institute of Management Offshoring Brief

The Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) has released an interesting Briefing Note:

Offshoring of business services and its impact on the UK economy (PDF, 36 pages) [Link removed, full story no longer available].

This report is worth a look, the main conclusions are:

  • Business services provided 50% of the job growth in the UK over the last 20 years.
  • The UK has a trade surplus in business services (the UK sells more services to other countries than they “offshore”).
  • UK Business Services industries are experiencing continued job growth, job losses from outsourcing are small compared to total job creation in Business Services.
  • UK productivity in Business Services has increased (caught up with US, France, and Germany) along with employment growth.

One very interesting aspect of this brief is that it has a tone indicating the UK should use offshore resources to further increase competitiveness with other countries.

AIM gets it.