Wednesday, April 05, 2006


InformationWeek Spring Conference (Part one of three)

This week I attended the InformationWeek Spring conference and figured I would share several of the wonderful conversations I had while there...

One conversation that was intriguing was with Nick Debronsky who is the CEO of CrossUSA who runs an interesting organization that allows large enterprises to achieve cost reduction in terms of IT outsourcing but do so in a patriotic manner.

Instead of outsourcing, many companies are searching for creative solutions to reduce IT costs while delivering new technologies. One cost reducing method, which is attracting a great deal of attention from Chief Information Officers, is the “re-deployment” of technical skills. Skilled programmers are removed from the maintenance side of applications and re-skilled into newer technologies.

They have a unique value proposition in that they have figured out a way to keep jobs in America while achieving the same costs as sending to places such as India by using the concept of Rural Development Centers.

In our conversation, I had enquired as to their success rate in penetrating large corporations and uncovered an interesting pattern. It seems as if they are wildly successful in selling to companies that still have American born IT leadership. When I dug a little deeper, it seems as if selling the notion of keeping jobs in America to IT executives who weren't born here seems to always fail in that there is a strong affinity to moving jobs outside of the US to countries of their origin since the perceived risk is lower (reality is always different than perception).

This conversation did get me to thinking about politics though. I think it is safe to assume that many of the IT executives he is failing to sell to are either Green Card holders or Naturalized Citizens that there should be some affinity to America. In the news, we seem to be worried about Hispanic immigrants wanting to turn Los Angeles into part of Mexico but never really talk about other forms of disrespect to our great country. I wonder if Americans have it twisted.

Anyway, I do hope that more American companies will consider looking at outsourcing firms that use the rural development center approach. The ability to save money is vital but it should also be done in a way that doesn't expose the enterprise to additional "brand" risk and they have a solution to it...

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