AT&T to reduce offshoring?

The New York Daily News is reporting a change to AT&T’s offshoring plans, suggesting that the company has agreed tentatively to an arrangement that boosts the existing workforce’s pay and reduces the number of jobs that will go overseas.

There’s an element of ‘we’ll believe it when we see it’ here but there are more fundamental issues to address than one individual arrangement, we suggest.

First, the idea that outsourcing and offshoring (the publication seems to conflate the two completely) are identical is plain wrong – they can coincide but it’s completely possible to outsource to businesses within the same country. Many people do so, even (we kid you not) in the USA.

Second, there’s an underlying current of ‘offshoring bad, keeping work internal good’. In our view, every deal that’s made shuts someone else who was bidding for the work out by definition. This isn’t a good or bad thing, just a reflection of the reality that not everyone can be working on a particular assignment at any time.

If AT&T workers get a better Christmas because their jobs feel more solid, nobody is more pleased for them than us. (OK, their families are probably pretty happy). But if we had one wish for the sourcing industry for 2018 then it would be that it gets a fair hearing and the press recognises the good that it can do as well as the impact it may have on existing jobs.

This will involve the industry marketing itself a little harder, but we believe it can be done. So if you’re in the industry and particularly in communications, how about it?

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