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Companies More Likely To Outsource Than Train IT Employees 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the flatten-and-reinstall dept.
snydeq writes "IT pros feeling the pressure to boost tech skills should expect little support from their current employers, according to a recent report on IT skills. '9 in 10 business managers see gaps in workers' skill sets, yet organizations are more likely to outsource a task or hire someone new than invest in training an existing staff. Perhaps worse, a significant amount of training received by IT doesn't translate to skills they actually use on the job.'"
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Companies More Likely To Outsource Than Train IT Employees

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  • This just in! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:54PM (#39344777)
    This just in: Companies in a recessionary economy are cheap.

    Guys, seriously. Nobody wants to spend money on an employee they aren't likely to have around in a year or two anyway; and even if they did, it's easier just to phone HR and say "Hey, I need a dozen people with xyzzy skill." "derp derp derp" "Okay then! I'll see them on monday." The idea of the company taking care of you died in about, er... the 1950s. Deal with it.

    • Re:This just in! (Score:5, Informative)

      by aergern (127031) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:09PM (#39344953)

      I've been at this long enough that I know it matters NOT what the economy is like whether they do this or not. It's about time we stop blaming the economy for things. This crap happens in the best of times and the worst. It's because sales, marketing and other non-tech people (who are usually in charge of the purse) see no real value in tech people unless shit is broken. They see IT/Eng folks as a dime a dozen that are easily replaced by some outsourced solution. WHICH the later regret in most cases.

      So don't act like this is a new thing. It isn't.

      • Re:This just in! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:22PM (#39345107)

        Yes even in the booming 90s companies kept demanding more Visas so they could hire outside help, rather use existing unemployed U.S. engineers.

        I've been a contractor 10+ years now because they'd rather hire temps than permanents. Also there's an age bias towards younger workers (under 40) who have no family and don't mind working unpaid overtime.

           

      • Re:This just in! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @06:02PM (#39345637)
        I'd argue that "WHICH the later regret in most cases." They rarely regret it. If they want some big project, done in-house... their co-workers in IS will tell them... it's a dumb idea. They'll clearly make a better product more in-line with what they "need" than what they "want" But... then again, that's not what they want is it? An out-sourced company comes in and builds them exactly what they ask for... to the letter... and leaves. Then, when that sucks, the people that hired them can blame the nameless outsourced company and declare all the problems their having someone elses fault. If they had done it in-house... that blame game would come to a quick end when a knowledgeable IS staff is sitting there ready to defend themselves.

        I maintain a DB and recently had our marketing department get sent to me to quote syncing this DB with some software they have. They had apparently gotten quotes from outside vendors and the VPs caught wind of the price tag and said "No way in hell" So I meet with these people with the novel question of: "What is this software? What does it do? Who is maintaining it? Because it sure as hell isn't IS." It ended up that the director of marketing was the "Technical lead" for the product. So I asked her what kind of backend DB it used... what API did it have... did we have a support contract with the vendor... She had no idea. In fact, they weren't sure where their contract was. I got the joy of asking her if we were pirating the software. "Whats that mean?" It was a rather hilarious meeting.
      • by houghi (78078)

        I hate to burst your bubble, but it does not only happen in IT. It happens all over the company. Unfortunately IT is nothing special.

      • Absolutely. It's much easier to sell reactive based support over proactive management and maintenance regardless what's truly in their ultimate best interest from a TCO perspective. That, and management loves to play the game of "hot hot potato". As long as shit didn't break on their watch, everything must be running 100%. Why spend money when you don't need too, right?

    • by gnick (1211984)

      The idea of the company taking care of you died in about, er... the 1950s. Deal with it.

      Right. That's because the companies taking care of themselves drove the others out of the market or forced them to adapt. Now we're seeing more of the same.

      And that maximizes profit and that's what the shareholders want, so I don't see that changing until... ever.

      • Re:This just in! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by aergern (127031) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @06:06PM (#39345683)

        Then they shouldn't should whine when no one can afford what they product. It's a self fulfilling prophecy. Which is why the banks should have never been bailed out and the auto industry should never had bailouts or loans. If we are in a true capitalist society .. and these "corporations" make bad decisions .. fuck them .. let them die and new companies take their place. Why should society prop them up if as an entity they care about nothing but profits. *shrug*

        • by lgw (121541)

          One day, pehaps soon, we'll figure out some system of government that isn't controlled by corporations - but clearly "more regulation" isn't the answer to that (bringing government and corporations closer together is the opposite of what we need - damn bailouts!), and I'm not sure what is.

          But technology makes products cheaper precisely because it takes fewer jobs to make them. And we know that's a net win, eventually. It's the transitions that are rough.

      • Re:This just in! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by lgw (121541) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @06:30PM (#39345941) Journal

        So, serious question: why aren't you a shareholder then? Anyone with a professional salary can join the 1% with 20 or so years of savings, if that's a priority.

        Ultimately the purpose of a producer is to produce a product that people want, at a price that people want to pay, not to give you a job. As technology marches on it takes fewer and fewr jobs to produce any given thing (that's basically the definition of technology). And yet standards of living are vastly higher than 150 years ago - because, of course, technology makes products cheaper.

        The world won't be arranged for your convenience - you have to actually do work that people want done, after all - so either compete in a global market, or do service work that can't be outsourced. To repeat the GPP - deal with it.

        • by Skapare (16644)

          What makes you think the standards of living are that much better. The expectations are driven higher, and people are further behind those expectations than ever before. There is a much wider gap between economic levels than ever before. As products get cheaper and cheaper, people at the lower end can afford less and less of them.

        • Not really...

          In fact, if you saved $3,000 each and every month for 20 years and got an annual 4.75% tax free or after tax return, you'd end up with 1,165,520 dollars

          This will produce between 30,000 (low risk) and 60,000 (high risk) and 80,000+ (very high risk).

          Meanwhile,
          http://www.ctj.org/html/gwb0602.htm [ctj.org]
          top 1% Average income $1,495,000 per year

          I.e., they earn more in ONE year than you can save in 20 years with a good return in the stock market on a professional salary.

          20 years of savings(with good returns)

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        It'll change, don't worry. Not exactly sure when or what the end result will look like, but it will change. What we're seeing is the Achilles' Heel of capitalism, and the method of its destruction. What we might end up with is a new democratic socialist government (or governments, if the US breaks apart) where companies aren't beholden to shareholders and maximizing profit. What we'll probably end up with is an unelected, dictatorial government much like China's, or perhaps a world that looks like that

      • by Jawnn (445279)

        The idea of the company taking care of you died in about, er... the 1950s. Deal with it.

        Right. That's because the companies taking care of themselves drove the others out of the market or forced them to adapt. Now we're seeing more of the same.

        And that maximizes profit and that's what the shareholders want, so I don't see that changing until... ever.

        You seem to be suggesting that there were (are) no successful (profitable) companies that respected and valued their employees.
        You need to take another look.

    • Re:This just in! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Beelzebud (1361137) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:11PM (#39344983)
      Actually the idea that a company should be loyal to its employees started to die about 20 years ago, thanks to useful idiots like yourself that argue in favor of lowering the value of labor, and giving companies a pass on not being responsible citizens.
      • Re:This just in! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:29PM (#39345211)

        It doesn't matter what you do. There is no profit incentive to "loyalty" in many jobs. Your labor is worth what someone will pay you for it.

    • by leenks (906881)

      The summary also makes the point that staff are receiving training that isn't relevant to their job. This seems like the biggest issue - waste money on fluffy business/management crap (that the managers should be doing rather than delegating down to their tech staff) rather than spending money on useful training that the staff would actually use to be more productive.

      Of course, the department that came up with the idea of making the rest of the staff do the fluffy business/management crap as well as their o

      • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:13PM (#39346899)

        I think that the Traditional College system is not the best fit for lot’s of jobs and there are better ways to learn and to show that you have skills.

        Harvard Study: Too Much Emphasis On College Education?
        http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0202/Does-everyone-need-a-college-degree-Maybe-not-says-Harvard-study [csmonitor.com] [CC] [MD] [GC]

        http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/02/harvard-study-hey-maybe-were-placing-too-much-emphasis-on-a-college-education/ [hotair.com] [CC] [MD] [GC]
        “It would be fine if we had an alternative system [for students who don’t get college degrees], but we’re virtually unique among industrialized countries in terms of not having another system and relying so heavily on higher education,” says Robert Schwartz, who heads the Pathways to Prosperity project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
        Emphasizing college as the only path may actually cause some students – who are bored in class but could enjoy learning that’s more entwined with the workplace – to drop out, he adds. “If the image [of college] is more years of just sitting in classrooms, that’s not very persuasive.”
        The United States can learn from other countries, particularly in northern Europe, Professor Schwartz says. In Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland, for instance, between 40 and 70 percent of high-schoolers opt for programs that combine classroom and workplace learning, many of them involving apprenticeships. These pathways result in a “qualification” that has real currency in the labor market”

        “It would be fine if we had an alternative system [for students who don’t get college degrees], but we’re virtually unique among industrialized countries in terms of not having another system and relying so heavily on higher education,” says Robert Schwartz, who heads the Pathways to Prosperity project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
        Emphasizing college as the only path may actually cause some students – who are bored in class but could enjoy learning that’s more entwined with the workplace – to drop out, he adds. “If the image [of college] is more years of just sitting in classrooms, that’s not very persuasive.”
        The United States can learn from other countries, particularly in northern Europe, Professor Schwartz says. In Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland, for instance, between 40 and 70 percent of high-schoolers opt for programs that combine classroom and workplace learning, many of them involving apprenticeships. These pathways result in a “qualification” that has real currency in the labor market”

    • It's not any more that economies in recession are cheap, most of South America are not in recession and even have a similar living costs to the US, yet are heavy outsourcers with a flawless track record (look at Globant). The actual reason why outsourced companies are cheaper is that in US the skill-cost curve is exponential, while in most of the rest of the world is linear. Add to that that high level education in many countries (such Argentina) is completely free and as a result you have very cheap skille
      • by lgw (121541)

        Add to that that high level education in many countries (such Argentina) is completely free and as a result you have very cheap skilled teams.

        By "free" you mean paid for by taxes, right? Taxes on those same college graduates over the course of their working lives? Nothing's free.
         

        • Yep! It's called "investing in society", and it's a huge part of why countries like Argentina and Brazil are doing so well right now—and it's something we used to do here in the US. It can't possibly be helpful to our country to have so many people take on crushing debt simply to qualify for a career.

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      Ok then it's about time that companies quit demanding that employees give their lives/prove their 'loyalty'/work excessive hours/sacrifice work/life balance/hand over all intellectual property in contracts etc.

    • Companies regard programmers as a generic resource.

      They do not think there is any value in knowledge of the business rules.

      Off shore contractors turn over faster than onshore employees in my direct experience.

      Employees who have been on the job 5 or more years can do the work more effectively, more accurately, more quickly, and manage customer relationships better.

      In our experience, HR is terrible at successfully providing candidates.
      In our experience, Indian contracting companies are much worse at providing

    • "This just in: Companies in a recessionary economy are cheap.
      Guys, seriously. Nobody wants to spend money on an employee they aren't likely to have around in a year or two anyway; and even if they did, it's easier just to phone HR and say 'Hey, I need a dozen people with xyzzy skill.' 'derp derp derp' 'Okay then! I'll see them on monday.'

      I fail to see how this got labeled "insightful". We know WHY they do it. The question is: "Is it smart to do this?" And in the majority of cases, the answer is: "No".

      Of course there are some companies -- either small companies on a low budget or larger companies that have fallen on hard times and are struggling for capital -- that have little choice.

      BUT... the majority of the companies who are doing this are companies that have fallen into the post-60s-or-so pattern of valuing short-term profits over

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:58PM (#39344831)

    A manager is insulated from the real costs of hiring a new employee, whereas costs for training for an existing employee show up nice and neatly on his budget.
    Why? HR. HR ensures it's own existence by hiding the costs of new hires. Managers are happy to take advantage of this.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:41PM (#39345393)
      Take this a step further, and you reach the situation I'm currently in. It is virtually impossible to find entry level jobs right now. Every place I have looked is only looking for experienced workers for jobs that are little more than entry level. They don't want to make the effort to train a new hire, they want someone who is already trained. These days companies do not want to invest in their employees at all. They look only to the short term and not the long term. They don't want employees at all. They want mercenaries that they can hire to do a job and drop and hire new ones whenever they want.
      • Try the opposite side of things. I am in what I thought is a good position. I am highly skilled both technically and in the soft skills. Yet all I see is hesitant businesses testing the waters. They pull the pin then pull back. Extremely frustrating. I would like to have a good full time job right now but the proper opportunity has not presented itself. It seems like barriers have been thrown up by business/HR to prevent normal discourse.

        True, companies are not mentoring like they used to. This mean

      • by jonwil (467024)

        Around here (Perth, Australia) I see ads for "junior" positions where they want 1-2 years experience in ASP.NET or J2EE or Oracle or whatever it is and so far its proving impossible for someone like me with no experience to get a job in software development.

  • Most of what I do, is come in after the outsourced contract workers are done and make things work. Granted, that's for custom software development, but the principal is the same.
    • by tqk (413719)

      Most of what I do, is come in after the outsourced contract workers are done and make things work.

      Most of what I do (as a contractor) is come in and do the work existing employees are afraid to touch or can't do in the first place.
      Then, despite succeeding in the task, I seldom hear from them again. And it takes damned near forever for clients to bite the bullet and call someone in to handle the raging fire.

      Employees think they have it so difficult with low pay, lousy hours, HR, yada, yada. Try contracting.

      • I see both sides of this.

        Employees ONLY see one environment.

        A contractor sees dozens.

        I prefer to use employees (who know the business) but call in contractors at least annually for auditing for best practices. I also prefer to pull in a contractor when we have something unusual. Why waste 30 days of an employee's time and then fail when a contractor can fix it in 2 weeks and be out the door.

        However, my company has tried to replace employees with hordes of contractors (i.e. not high quality experts but jus

  • by WTFmonkey (652603) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:06PM (#39344915)
    But I've received online security training by IT, ethics training by legal, harassment training by HR, business development training by BD, health training by our new insurance provider, all delivered by automated Flash apps voiced by a kindly sounding lady, after which *I had to get 80% on a 5-question multiple-choice test* to get my printable Certificate of Compliance! I have a hard time remembering which side of this keybored thingy to bang on sometimes, but by God I know company policies!
    • by suutar (1860506)
      so you can harass people in a cost-effective, secure, and ergonomic fashion? :)
    • by toadlife (301863)

      lol.

      We just did those too a few weeks ago. Stuff like workplace safety, conflict management, etc.

  • A lot of public companies decimated their college hire programs over the last decade. Usually the focus has become MIS grads groomed for middle management of offshore resources. Basically it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. "We use off shore because we can't find people." Yeah and you can't find people because you refuse to put money into college hires.

    College hires are more likely to get involved with start ups and small consulting companies. Both are fine, but neither prepare one for corporate wor

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Absolutely. It's almost impossible to get anything but a helpdesk or (if you're very lucky) an entry level programming job at a small organization anymore.

      And no, you can't "work your way up" to an administrator or "developer", unless it's truly a very small shop. There are no gradients, because everything between "able to speak english and put things under desks" or "someone who can speak english and debug things who won't progress" because everything between those and "senior admin" or "lead developer" ha

  • FTA:

    As it stands, 57 percent of respondents said training or retraining staff would be their strategy to closing the skills gap. 38 percents said they would go with outsourcing or contractors; 28 percent said they would hire new employees.

    Yea, that adds up to over 100%. Whatever.

    Message here is that if you consider yourself a skilled employee, you (not your employer) are responsible for keeping your skills up to date. Companies don't train Luddites.

    • by jd (1658)

      Doesn't have to add up to 100%. There's overlap. 57% want to train, 28% would hire new employees. Assuming that NONE of the 38% who would outsource would also train or hire, THEN we know 5% of those who would hire new employees would only do so and that the remainder would do both that AND train.

      A skilled employee has WHAT time to keep their skills up-to-date? The unhealthy obsession with "work ethic" (yes, unhealthy, it causes the majority of heart attacks in the US, more than the food) results in bugger a

      • by tomhath (637240)

        Of source I understand that it doesn't have to add up to 100%, duh. But if you don't have 3 to 5 hours a month to keep your skills up to date you need to find a new job.

        And regarding the 30 hour work week? I'd love to have that, and a sabbatical every few years. But your claim that it would be cost effective is nonsense. You think a college education is so cheap in the US because professors have those benefits?

        • And regarding the 30 hour work week? I'd love to have that, and a sabbatical every few years. But your claim that it would be cost effective is nonsense. You think a college education is so cheap in the US because professors have those benefits?

          So your argument is that college is expensive in the US because college professors don't work 40+ hours a week, 50 weeks a year, and do all of their ongoing training on their own time, outside of that?

        • by jd (1658)

          College education is so expensive in the US because they can get away with it. Britain's universities get maybe a third as much but have comparable (sometimes superior) rankings on every metric.

          3-5 hours a month? You've seen the turnover of software on Freshmeat/Freecode, right? Do you know how many new features are added to critical software in a single WEEK?! You also need to remember that a rusty skill cannot be used in the future. ALL your skills have to be kept active and fresh, not just the ones that

          • College education went thru the roof when two things happened.

            a) The government started giving grant money to everyone, not just veterans
            b) The government passed laws saying college debt was uniquely unforgivable (despite having only a 1% default rate when the laws were passed- lower than most other credit default rates). This meant banks were willing to loan $40k because they knew they owned your ass forever. And free money mean universities raised tuitions.

            Make college debt subject to bankruptcy and lim

    • by U8MyData (1281010)
      So police, fire, military personnel are suppling their own training and at their own expense?
      • by tomhath (637240)

        So police, fire, military personnel are suppling their own training and at their own expense?

        What part of "IT professionals" is confusing you?

        By the way, my job title is Senior Java Developer; before that it was Senior Database Developer, so I've been there done that. I still prefer the database end of it and generally work in that arena though. Most Java developers can't write even the simplest SQL query.

    • by russotto (537200)

      Message here is that if you consider yourself a skilled employee, you (not your employer) are responsible for keeping your skills up to date.

      You can't, though. The companies want verifiable professional experience, not skills you claim you have from working on stuff on the side. Except, of course, when they hire an outsourcing firm or bring in a visa worker... then they'll (pretend to) believe that the outsourced worker or visa worker has 5-10 years of experience in everything, even when all they really h

  • by Sepultura (150245) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:13PM (#39345011)

    In my experience, the summary touches on the chief cause of this problem: If an organization can't train in-house then they have to look to 3rd parties to provide the training, and all too often those 3rd parties lack the skills and/or knowledge to effectively educate the employees in anything practical. And in most cases they're never held to account for their lack.

    So at that point it simply becomes cheaper to outsource the job to someone who has to get the job done in order to be paid, rather than pay employees to learn worthless skills.

  • This has been this way since I can remember. 17 years in this business and I think I have received maybe two formal training sessions, both two days. Not to mention the real value of what is being delivered for that $2495.00 session is sh*t. The costs of IT to the business and individual is incredible. If an individual were to go out and get a current MCSE, what is the expected life span of that certification? What are the real costs in terms of fees, tests, software, and hardware to achieve such accre
  • Make execs hold 20 year stock, instead of the year or 2 bs.
  • Here's your opportunity. Learn it yourself and be more valuable to your company.

    Or don't, and whine, and be the next guy laid off.

  • The last time I received any kind of IT training was when my company was in the process of switching from Quark to InDesign for publication layout. My role would involve checking articles in and out of the collaboration system and making a few minor text edits while they were in the system; nothing more. The "training" we were scheduled for involved something like four consecutive days of three-hour group training sessions. Needless to say, I said, "Thanks, I think I've got it..." and walked out during the

    • by frisket (149522)

      Where do these employees expect their companies to go to find training that isn't a total waste of time and money?

      I don't know, but in your case, it sounds as if your management didn't know InDesign from a hole in the wall, and just bought the off-the-shelf "new client" package. As they didn't know the product, they also didn't know what your job entailed, so they failed to match skills requirements to the training.

    • by leenks (906881)

      My last employer, a UK civil service dept, sent me (and various colleagues) to Exeter University and Oxford University for data-mining / statistics / pattern recognition courses. They sent me on Oracle University courses. They sent me to conferences. They sent me on high quality developer courses hosted on the premises by skilled professionals, with other similarly minded candidates - I learnt a lot.

      While Quark->InDesign training might have been offered to publishers internally, it certainly wouldn't hav

  • Part of the job is learning it on your own, volunteering for new things, and sometimes exaggerating your experience to get into new technologies. No company has ever spent a dime on my training, yet I've managed to build a killer resume just by never ever saying "No" to anything.

    I'm working in a Java shop and the PHB sent out a group email looking for volunteers with .NET experience. My coworkers are exceptionally good at Java and I know they'd figure out C# over a weekend, but nobody volunteered! Exce
    • by Locutus (9039)
      you are the exception to the rule.

      LoB
    • by leenks (906881)

      I got a 12 week gig (with paid overtime!) and all the latest Microsoft buzzwords to add to my resume.

      Ouch. How's that going? Has your doctor been able to cure you yet? ;-)

  • by erice (13380) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:46PM (#39345451) Homepage

    If they train an existing employee that only get someone who "knows" the material. If they outsource or hire someone new that can get someone who actually done it before. As anyone who has tried to get hired on the strength of a newly learned skill can tell you, companies only value skills that have already been applied at other companies.

    • I have hired people like this, and found many of them less than desirable. I have hired people with anywhere from 3-10 years of experience in exactly what I am looking for. When they start working, I find their skill level much to be desired. They try to apply a method they used before, which is completely inappropriate for the situation at hand. I find them taking short cuts they think I won't notice. They argue with the standards we have in place, not because they point out why they are bad, but because t
  • by Danzigism (881294) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:48PM (#39345477)
    If you run a small/medium business, it makes perfect sense to outsource your IT as long as you do it locally. Also, if you're an IT technician, then you need to start your own IT firm or work for an existing firm. Most small businesses don't need to hire an IT guy for $50,000+ a year just so he spends 8 hours trying to remove the malware from some unimportant employee's laptop. You can pay half the cost for a local IT company to proactively manage your network, provide remote and on-site support, and in-shop repair services. Not to mention, your IT firm can hire dozens of local IT techs and give job opportunities to many people. You make more money, and companies save money, and IT techs actually have the opportunity to grow and learn more about bettering the services they offer their clients. It just has do be done locally.
    • by frisket (149522)
      That's fine if the SME just uses IT systems to run Microsoft Office, and maybe a few Windows shares. My brother runs an IT services company doing exactly as you describe, and both he and his clients (local SMEs) are very happy with the relationship, and long may they all prosper.

      But the moment the SME starts wanting to have something a little more demanding — perhaps their own web server, or some vertical-market applications software — the local IT services company may not to be able to handle

      • by Danzigism (881294)
        As an IT firm, you cannot be afraid to make bold steps. When you start small, the work is overwhelming. But if you push through and manage to get a staff of 10+ technicians all well versed in various fields, then it makes for a pretty winning team. You cannot be afraid to expand and grow for it is the only way you'll be able to handle all the work. And not to mention you can continue to offer different services to open up new streams of revenue. With the right management tools, ticketing system, and CRM, yo
  • how many times did we hear how difficult it was to put another office suite on desktops? Does anyone think this is just the Windows user base and not the Windows IT crowd too? So it's not surprising new IT projects get outsourced instead of using inhouse employees. If this was different, we'd probably see more open source used in IT but that's not the case with Windows shops. They only want to do what they know.

    As a software developer, I have seen contractors brought in to get the team up and running on ne
  • I thought all companies were like this?

    If my company needs a specific technical skill, like if they need someone to use .Net to program our Sharepoint site, or they need someone to develop an iPhone app, if they don't already have someone with that experienc ein-house, their choices are to pay someone to learn the skill and "learn on the job" as they become proficient at the skill...Or they can send the task outside and let someone (or some company) who's already experienced in that skill do the work.

    Howev

  • This is likely to be an unpopular opinion on slashdot, but the fact is most companies are not in the IT business. That means their primary service/product is not IT. If a company is selling shoes for example, they're not exactly going to be innovators in the IT world. In fact they'd much rather hire an external IT agency to handle their IT requirements because let's face it, there isn't much tie in with IT for their shoe selling business.

    You can replace shoes with nearly anything. Now if your company's bu

  • by erice (13380) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @06:59PM (#39346201) Homepage

    If not, they would have been laid off!

  • The ones who don't care about building their own core competency usually outsource to a myriad of companies. While they get their work done at a reasonable price, it also means they get a lot of hold music when something breaks. If you have a server/network link that could break and it would require an explanation to the board...you're probably better off having someone in house who can fix it quickly (and find other problems before the big ones go BOOM).

    That usually doesn't happen in sub Fortune-1000
  • Need to know how to do X thing in five minutes? Google, my friend! Today it was figuring out how to unlock a locked virtual server via RDP... whoever decided to make it CTRL ALT END was a genius, a sheer genius. I could have spent $500 for a seminar on virtualization and never been told that, but Google told me in ten seconds, for free.
  • My personal experience is in very small business, so maybe I'm missing something here. But I find the ability to research and adabt to any required technology to be a core part IT. Something I expect any competant IT employee to be able to do themselves on an as needed basis (and in the case of people with aptititude for the work, something they would do even if not needed.)

    If IT workers need to be lead by the hand to a training course, that's probably a job that would be better outsourced anyhow. IT is

  • by SeNtM (965176)
    Duuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The only way this will get fixed is if the outsourcing/guest worker/temp worker option is legislatively taken off the table, along with forcing companies to do the right thing.

    Make temporary work cost more for each level of indirection or difference from full-benefit FTE. Short work that would normally dodge costs, would end up costing everyone down the chain a ton except for the worker. Long-term work that takes in people of all skill levels, especially the the long-term unemployed, and produces more val

  • This is why I prefer working at companies that use open source software for the core of their systems. You are able to teach yourself and stay up to date on what is going on, and maybe even give back. All of that documentation is out there just for you to learn. And you can set up any number of scenarios in your labs without having to buy licenses for things that likely won't work for you anyway. Let's not forget that we no longer have to deal with constant harrassment from sales droids, instead focusing on growing our own skillset while benefiting the company.

    'Training" is for "consultants" working for places like the DoD. I've never met a group more dedicated to striving for mediocrity, including government employees and contractors alike. Your value is seen as what you've been trained in. The majority of those folks simply don't know how to think, only how to regurgitate feature sets of commercial products that the government is overpaying for.

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.

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