GlobalSpec’s Wiegman agrees, “We are always hesitant in adding people too quickly. Our tendency is to become over-reliant on existing staff. This typically causes slippage in project schedules.”
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For others, it is that all-too-familiar stopgap: increased reliance on outsourcing and offshoring.
Practiced by 48 percent of this year’s respondents’ employers, offshoring will reach a tipping point of sorts in the next 12 months, as for the first time more than half -- 53 percent -- will employ the staffing strategy.
Tech providers remain offshoring’s biggest proponents, with 67 percent expected to tap the model in the next year, up from 62 percent presently. Jobs in business sectors, however, will be moving offshore more rapidly in the coming year, as 59 percent of general business organizations will port positions overseas next year, up from 51 percent today.
And for those already hooked, the addiction will take stronger hold. Companies relying on overseas outsourcers for more than 20 percent of staff resources will increase from 28 percent to 34 percent a year from now. All told, 18 percent of all companies -- including those with no offshoring plans whatsoever -- will have sent more than a fifth of their jobs overseas by mid-2008.
If those numbers sound surprising, the effect on morale is familiar. Talent jumps ship in anticipation of the offshoring ax, and those who remain are pressed into greater levels of work in an increasingly contentious and uncertain environment.
Nonetheless, offshoring trepidations have tapered off slightly, as this year 23 percent said offshoring keeps them up at night, down from 25 percent in 2006. Midlevel managers, at 26 percent, remain the most anxious, as offshore contractors further mature the model by offering services further up the IT chain of command --perhaps far enough up the ranks that senior IT managers alone grew more fearful of offshoring this year, nearly double their anxiety two years ago. And with 11 percent of tech execs on edge, it begs the question, has offshoring reached IT’s upper echelons, or are those charged with making it work finding the complexities of overseeing an offshore initiative a one-way ticket to unemployment?
If the theme of this year’s survey is more money, the secondary message is less respect. If companies aren’t careful, how they value IT -- or don’t -- could very well end up undermining the business goals they have set, or at least that’s what the majority of this year’s respondents expect.