miércoles, 3 de agosto de 2005

Personal offshoring

Aunque ya se que no esta bien, como estamos en agosto y la gente esta un poco perezosilla, y dado lo significativo de la noticia, opto por pegar directamente el texto integro del articulo de David Rowan. Ok, Ok, os pongo tb el link original .
Creo que es un tema lo suficientemente fascinante, como para darle una pensada.

Personal offshoring
By David Rowan

This week’s Trendsurfing has been outsourced to India. While I’m sipping margaritas on a Mexican beach, your delicately crafted column is being hand-assembled in a Bangalore sweatshop. Naturally, I’m paying the Indians a fraction of what The Times pays me – but that’s the beauty of today’s flattened global marketplace. Outsource your work to some cheaper sucker overseas, and suddenly you’ll find yourself quids in.

That’s the fantasy – though not, I should assure the editor, one that’s quite ready for showtime. It does, though, reflect a rather exciting new trend in the "offshoring" economy. Offshoring, in business jargon, is the migration of jobs to lower-cost places overseas – say, the Hyderabad call centre pretending to be your local bank. Now, thanks to broadband internet, it’s not just big business that gets to go global. All of a sudden, you and I too can offshore our smaller personal tasks to eager workers toiling thousands of miles away.

The trend is known as "personal offshoring", and it promises to save you money wherever a service can be delivered digitally – from online homework tutoring for your kids, to a new logo for the family business. If you need a website built, for instance, you can list your requirements at a specialist online marketplace such as RentACoder.com. Programmers from Estonia or Pakistan will compete to offer you the cheapest deal – invariably a fraction of the UK going rate.

This price gap has caused quite a stir among techies in higher-priced Western countries, and not simply because they can hear their jobs being sucked overseas. The more entrepreneurial among them have actually spotted a sneaky income-boosting opportunity. Last year, in a now famous posting on the Slashdot bulletin board, a software developer known only as Nonac confessed that, unbeknown to his employer, he had hired a developer in India for $12,000 to do a job that he himself was being paid $67,000 for. "He is happy to have the work; I am happy that I only have to work about 90 minutes per day," Nonac wrote. "Now I’m considering getting a second job and doing the same thing. The extra money would be nice, but that could push my workday over five hours."

The account may have been apocryphal – it certainly sparked a row among fellow coders over ethics – but it captured the spirit of possibility. It really does make financial sense now to delegate personal or professional tasks to suppliers in Gujarat or Gdansk. There are offshoring exchanges, such as OffshoreXperts.com, to delegate tasks ranging from landscape design to party organising. Or simply use your imagination: Ben Trowbridge, who consults on offshoring, was asked by an American psychologist to find shrinks in India to make follow-up phone calls to his patients. Hey, who’s to know that the doctor is 8,000 miles away?

Educational tuition is the next growth area, with Indian companies such as Career Launcher and Educomp Datamatics competing to offer one-to-one "live" homework help over the web. As you’ve guessed, an offshore tutor costs a fraction of the face-to-face rate. It’s a start – but does anyone in Karnataka fancy babysitting the kids by webcam this weekend? There’s a pound an hour in it. Maybe two, if you can also come up with next Saturday’s column…