Is outsourcing getting too expensive?

Rising pay in India is changing the dynamics of offshore hiring

Welcome back from your extended Memorial Day weekend. I mention Memorial Day because, for U.S. citizens, Monday was a patriotic occasion -- a day to honor those who gave their lives for their country. But it seems many of InfoWorld's readers are having their patriotism tested by a topic that hits close to home: offshoring. Based on your e-mails, as well as comments to stories on InfoWorld.com, stateside readers are still fuming over U.S. legislators' unwillingness to do anything about the continued loss of IT jobs to overseas contractors. Many laid-off IT pros simply can't find work at a salary level comparable to what they made at previous jobs, and they’re angry about it. And the immigration reform bill staggering its way through Congress -- with a mixed bag of regulations, including increasing H-1B visas to 115,000 per year -- is unlikely to please domestic jobseekers.

Wouldn't it be ironic if the same economic forces that once made offshoring inevitable could someday make it impractical? It could happen. According to Carmen Nobel, Indian IT salaries are rising so fast that offshoring to Bangalore may no longer be a reasonable option for U.S. companies. Of course, there are always lower-priced markets, from China to Eastern Europe. But over the medium to long haul, salaries are likely to go up there as well, changing the employment dynamics with them. This is a trend that bears watching.

Nobel's story, by the way, focuses on search startup Riya, one of the companies profiled in our Month of Enterprise Startups, which is winding down this week. The entire package of 31 fledgling companies represents some of the best and brightest that the tech world has to offer. But that doesn't mean the veterans can't still innovate. Take HP, for example, the oldest of Silicon Valley's old guard. It has just come out with a groundbreaking new multifunction device -- the CM8060 Color MFP -- that reinvents the inkjet printer for a new age. And InfoWorld Test Center Contributing Editor Melissa Riofrio schlepped to HP's Boise, Idaho, facility to give it a thorough workout.

What's so remarkable about this 725-pound behemoth? It uses a new technology, dubbed Edgeline, to spray ink across the entire page at once. Edgeline's array of print heads allow the CM8060 to crank out 50 color pages per minute -- comparable to an enterprise-class color laser but for less money. You may not see this technology on your desktop any time soon, but it's worth waiting for. It seems once again, HP has managed to rewrite the rules.

Speaking of new rules, our crack team of Miss Manners wannabes is at it again, trying to make the tech world a kinder, gentler place. Earlier this year, we rolled out a slideshow of the Ten Commandments of Cell Phone Etiquette. Well, this week, we're proud to present the Ten Commandments of Blog and Wiki Etiquette, by assistant editor Pete Babb (with some helpful suggestions from the less boorish bloggers and wiki-tarians on the InfoWorld staff). If you're a blogger, or plan to be one someday, please read it … and heed it.

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