U.S. workers have been dealing with the effects of outsourcing for years now. But in a trend that many no doubt would like to see continue, General Motors Co. has committed to bringing back technology jobs it now outsources.
The automaker currently outsources about 90 percent of its information-technology services, including running data centers and writing applications, to other companies. But in a 180-degree turn, newly installed chief information officer, Randy Mott, who joined GM in February, wants to "insource" 90 percent of the company's IT operations within three years, InformationWeek reports.
Bringing back IT jobs at the scale GM needs would require the Detroit-based company, which currently employs about 1,500 IT workers worldwide, to go on a hiring binge to staff the three U.S.-based software development centers it's planning to build. Those would include jobs such as software developers, project managers, database experts and business analysts, according to the magazine.
In doing so, GM follows a path first blazed by Ford Motor Co. about five years ago. The plan focuses less on the bottom line and is more concerned with getting the most value from IT development.
But the move is rare. InformationWeek notes that in a survey it conducted of 513 business-technology professionals last year, just 4 percent said their companies plan to decrease IT outsourcing. Seventeen percent were weighing their options, and the remaining 79 percent were maintaining or increasing their outsourcing.
One reason for that is that companies have cheap and reliable access to virtual networks, known as cloud computing. The technology allows businesses to take advantage of low-cost labor in countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and India, where wages are a fraction of those in the U.S. and other developed nations, according to Staff.com, a website that allows employers to hire workers virtually through the Internet.
Not only can workers be hired on the cheap, Staff.com boasts that its software allows employers "to track low-wage workers minute-by-minute using time-tracking software -- all in the cloud." Moreover, global access permits employers to find people who can work around the clock.
Those attributes, says the site's founder and CEO Rob Rawson, make continued outsourcing a no-brainer.
For more on the wage disparities among workers around the world, check the infographic below from Staff.com
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