Fwd:Re: Unintended outsourcing consequences
Wed, 19 Aug 98 13:41:36 +1000
(Metaphor is a risky argument to use!) Sorry, but I can't swallow whole the
"tool" metaphor for outsourcing. Tools are neutral; outsourcing is ideological.
I know that as a "model", outsourcing looks neutral, but that's theoretical and
superficial; in the real world, its neutrality is long gone.
It's promoted as a silver bullet; a huge excess of media commentators see it
that way (because it lets IT-ignorant journalists ignore the technology, and
flatter themselves that they're writing for CEOs); it lets IT-ignorant managers
and politicians make decisions about things they don't understand; and they get
to support their decisions by quoting research which is specifically designed to
prove that outsourcing is wonderful.
What the above communities ignore is that outsourcing also reduces an
organisation's ability to innovate on its own behalf; and it substantially
inhibits the flow of information (because all outsourcing agreements are wrapped
in confidentiality clauses), thereby making the system less accountable -- to my
thinking, an outrageous outcome when it involves public spending.
Subject: Re: Unintended outsourcing consequences
Date: 18/08/98 11:22
There are probably equal numbers of case studies where outsourcing has
been successful, failed and was satisfactory.
I don't believe outsourcing itself perse is a good or bad strategy. It
is simply a tool and like the proverbial sledge hammer, it can be used
to bang a nail into a piece of wood or break a window.
The problem is if you don't know what a hammer is for, you run the risk
of ending up with either something to hang your hat on or something that
needs fixing before you lose all your goods through the window.
To continue a theme, there is an opportunity for SMEs, to offer, to put
up hat hooks, and convince clients that this is what they need rather
than selling them a hammer. But then again, maybe this was the strategy
employed for the Jigsaw puzzle that replaced the CES!
Is this the real meaning of the INFORMATION ECONOMY!
Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: (+61) 0414-869202