Interesting Offshore Outsourcing Survey responses in Software Development magazine

by Todd Ogasawara

Related link:

Software Development magazine (free registration required) sent out a survey to its 61,585 subscribers in October 2003 to ask about their experience with offshore outsourcing. 1,076 responded and 414 of those were screened as qualified for the survey. The results are published in the January 2004 issue of their magazine.

A couple of the summarized responses popped out at me.

First, 56% of the projects have been outsourced 2 years or less. So, this is a relatively new experience for the majority of the respondents.

Second, 56% rated the quality of work to be worse than in-house results (45%) or unusable or a setback to progress (11%). Now, this may be a result of the self-selecting survey participants. But, that is still a surprsingly high percentage to me.

Finally, even though coding and testing were, as expected, the most outsourced activity, it was surprizing to me that:

  • 51% reported design being outsourced offshore
  • 30% reported project management being outsourced offshore
  • 26% reported modeling being outsourced offshore
  • 25% reported R&D being outsourced offshore

With all I've read about high abstraction activities being less likely to be outsourced offshore, I expected these activities to result in less than 10% of offshore outsourcing.

You can read the full article for all the results.

Do these survey responses match up with what you see around you regarding U.S. offshore outsourcing?


2004-01-05 13:59:24
Another Offshore Outsourcing article
Just found another interesting article reference on Slashdot:

Forio Business Simulations: The Pitfalls of Outsourcing Programmers

2004-01-06 07:12:22
Another Offshore Outsourcing article
The pitfalls the article mentions are very real, but also have nothing to do with offshoring per se. Outsourcing to a domestic vendor could have identical consequences on innovation and strategy.

As such, I share Todd's surprise that design and R&D would be outsourced.