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Old 22.06.2019, 14:01
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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At some point, you would think the government would get involved since a mass exodus of tax paying ex-pats and unemployed citizens is in their midst...but I guess corporations have the final say these days.
And what would you expect the government to do? Companies can easily move head quarters and then we’d loose out on the corporate taxes as well. Switzerland is not the only low tax location in Europe, so there is not much the government can do.
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Old 22.06.2019, 14:25
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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Don’t worry too much, big firms are moving some stuff overseas but the Swiss economy as a whole still needs a lot of IT people - in Switzerland. Focus on being motivated and positive and have some business awareness and you’ll be fine.
Well if you are over say about 45 and loose your job in IT, you probably won’t be fine unless you have substantial savings. A lot of the IT demand is for young people with modern languages, cloud experience etc... and while it’s possible to pick up the skills, you cannot get away from the age gap - kids don’t want to have to work with their father or mother!
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Old 22.06.2019, 16:16
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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What do you really think is the purpose of a company is ?
The Swiss talk about the social contract.

But anyway. Why do companies outsource? For the most part rank stupidity, short-termism and ignorance. Some senior moron thinks it'll save money and everyone else tries to mitigate the damage.

I remember when Satyam collapsed. Executives running around like headless chickens. "Who owns our data? Who's looking after our processes?". All highly entertaining.

Within a company's IT system is encoded a huge amount of information about the company and its processes. I'm not talking about data - I'm talking about the systems, the programs etc. Outsourcing that is akin to having a full frontal lobotomy and handing control over to a third party who does not have your best interests at heart. And that third party has 20 other clients competing for their time.

Within a programming off-shore centre you will have two types of programmer - the inexperienced and the crap. After a couple of years, the inexperienced want to move out and do something higher up the food chain. So you never get good experienced developers offshore. Furthermore, given that in terms of Total Cost of Ownership, according to research by IBM, a program written by a bad programmer is up to 50x more expensive than one written by a good programmer, it becomes clear that unless you've got good programmers offshore, you won't save money.

The cheapest way to outsource IT is to pay the provider the retainer and do the work yourself! Eventually companies do realise this. Certain really not-key activities are outsourced, but the important stuff is brought back in-house.
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Old 22.06.2019, 21:22
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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Hello,

I work in pharma. I just started in a new company where most work that is not completed by VP’s/Directors is outsourced to India. This includes project managers, market research, communications, publications and even administrative assistants.

I know things have steadily been moving in that direction for years, but now it looks like it will be nothing but senior directors/or higher left in corporations Switzerland before long. Novartis recently announced that some directors will be moved to East Europe. What are us plebs to do?
I guess it's cheaper than to bring people from there and pay them 3-4 times more here. I don't think they move their key projects over there. It's a win-win situation.
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Old 22.06.2019, 22:25
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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Well if you are over say about 45 and loose your job in IT, you probably won’t be fine unless you have substantial savings. A lot of the IT demand is for young people with modern languages, cloud experience etc... and while it’s possible to pick up the skills, you cannot get away from the age gap - kids don’t want to have to work with their father or mother!
No I disagree. There is demand for IT specialists with significant business experience tied with technical IT skills, which over 45 engineers - of which I am one - are in demand. I was made redundant last year from the nestle shakeup and as a post 45 year old had no difficulty in getting a job with a company where the majority of employees are young motivated intelligent developers because those companies are missing one key area to compete in the marketplace - experienced engineers who have been around the block and can add a new element of experience and knowledge to complement the younger workforce.

And in my current experience we all work together very well. If you have a problem with older people perhaps it’s yourself you need to look at. Not as in you, Jim, i mean younger engineers in general.
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Old 23.06.2019, 07:59
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

I'm over 45. The people in my team are in their 30s. I'm the one who reads blogs, keeps up with the news, tries out new technologies and new techniques, always ready to try a different approach. The youngsters are the stereotypical "old men" (of both sexes) - unwilling to do anything expect what they've always done, even when it's manifestly bad practice. (I remember explaining to one of them, who was a bit more receptive, a technique which in our specific IT environment was first introduced 20 years ago... ).

Last week I spent sometime in a regional office in Eastern Europe, running a workshop in more advanced programming techniques for a bunch of youngsters (in their 20s). I didn't notice any resentment or awkwardness. I also learned from them.
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Old 23.06.2019, 08:20
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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I guess it's cheaper than to bring people from there and pay them 3-4 times more here. I don't think they move their key projects over there. It's a win-win situation.
Nobody would move anyone from India to do the job here where there are plenty of locals qualified for the job. The only one who wins are the top executives.

The recurring theme it seems is IT outsourcing, but what my first post was about, is that ALL kinds of work is currently being outsourced, not just in IT.
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Old 23.06.2019, 08:26
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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The recurring theme it seems is IT outsourcing, but what my first post was about, is that ALL kinds of work is currently being outsourced, not just in IT.
Correct, a company I worked for has a shared service center in Poland, another one in Romania. Our IT provider for certain things is in India and my previous company just closed all business in Switzerland and moved the jobs somewhere else.

It can happy anywhere, to anybody.
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  #29  
Old 23.06.2019, 09:09
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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Nobody would move anyone from India to do the job here where there are plenty of locals qualified for the job. The only one who wins are the top executives.

The recurring theme it seems is IT outsourcing, but what my first post was about, is that ALL kinds of work is currently being outsourced, not just in IT.
Yes, everyone thinks of IT when outsourcing comes to discussion, you're right.
My OH hired (not only him, obviously) a lot of people from abroad because they can't find specialists here. Not only from Eastern Europe, but also Germany, France etc. And India and the rest. If you look at how many people they hired from a specific region, you can easily imagine why an off-shore centre would really make sense there. But of course, you talked about Pharma and various jobs not only IT jobs and probably the move is not so easily justifiable. Big companies make some strategic moves that are not always transparent, or easy to understand for the rest of us. But stupid, they ain't.
About Eastern Europe in particular, with EU and all that, I really don't understand the resentments. It's like opening a centre in another region of the country.
Btw, what is the antonym for brain drain?

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Old 23.06.2019, 09:44
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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I'm over 45. The people in my team are in their 30s. I'm the one who reads blogs, keeps up with the news, tries out new technologies and new techniques, always ready to try a different approach. The youngsters are the stereotypical "old men" (of both sexes) - unwilling to do anything expect what they've always done, even when it's manifestly bad practice. (I remember explaining to one of them, who was a bit more receptive, a technique which in our specific IT environment was first introduced 20 years ago... ).

Last week I spent sometime in a regional office in Eastern Europe, running a workshop in more advanced programming techniques for a bunch of youngsters (in their 20s). I didn't notice any resentment or awkwardness. I also learned from them.
The senior guy trains the juniors. Isn't that just how it should be?
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  #31  
Old 23.06.2019, 09:58
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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The recurring theme it seems is IT outsourcing, but what my first post was about, is that ALL kinds of work is currently being outsourced, not just in IT.
A company I worked for outsourced a significant part of their accounts department. The consequences of that decision ensure that it ranks in the top 3 worst business decisions I've ever personally witnessed. The move didn't just go badly. Within a year it went entirely tits up with serious legal, contractual, financial and security implications. When one particularly serious issue came to light, the response from the outsource team amounted to "I don't see what your problem is" even though if the UK based team had behaved in the same manner, they'd likely have been facing criminal prosecution.
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Old 23.06.2019, 10:38
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

I think it is hard to survive on a highly competitive market as it is, outsourcing is symptomatic. Some companies moved their entire production to China and it still didn't save them from anything.
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  #33  
Old 23.06.2019, 10:38
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

Not only related to IT, although it seems to be the main topic on this thread, but more related to automotive and EV. The small department of “X” big company was formed in Switzerland by majority of employees from “Y” big company (competitor) to please the main headquarters of the “X” in EU. Most of the jobs that could be done locally with existing workforce are being outsourced to EU because that’s where potential automotive customers are present. It’s a strategic marketing decision in hope to win the client and lots of politics in play. Some jobs are outsourced elsewhere in LCC as part of the assembly. Therefore, the local small department of big “X” company is only managing, conferring meetings, coordinating, testing samples built on technologies from outsourced companies and writing documentations. When this has been done and not much more to do, that could motivate an employee, they drink coffee and and have lots of farewell parties thrown for those who had already resigned. Basically, it’s playing with and wasting money of the big “X” company to justify its R&D operation and in hope of finding the client someday. Now, the employees of this small department in CH start smelling a rat or foul play and keep on applying for jobs to leave this environment ASAP because they feel insecure about the whole operation and strategy defined by their overlords. Wonder how many other companies are like that in CH?
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  #34  
Old 23.06.2019, 10:45
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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Not only related to IT, although it seems to be the main topic on this thread, but more related to automotive and EV. The small department of “X” big company was formed in Switzerland by majority of employees from “Y” big company (competitor) to please the main headquarters of the “X” in EU. Most of the jobs that could be done locally with existing workforce are being outsourced to EU because that’s where potential automotive customers are present. It’s a strategic marketing decision in hope to win the client and lots of politics in play. Some jobs are outsourced elsewhere in LCC as part of the assembly. Therefore, the local small department of big “X” company is only managing, conferring meetings, coordinating, testing samples built on technologies from outsourced companies and writing documentations. Basically, it’s playing with and wasting money of the big “X” company to justify its R&D operation and in hope of finding the client someday. Wonder how many other companies are like that in CH?
It's exactly the reason for which we see these moves lately..
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Old 23.06.2019, 12:22
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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A company I worked for outsourced a significant part of their accounts department. The consequences of that decision ensure that it ranks in the top 3 worst business decisions I've ever personally witnessed. The move didn't just go badly. Within a year it went entirely tits up with serious legal, contractual, financial and security implications. When one particularly serious issue came to light, the response from the outsource team amounted to "I don't see what your problem is" even though if the UK based team had behaved in the same manner, they'd likely have been facing criminal prosecution.
Yep, the company I worked for outsourced the writing of legal contracts with suppliers, consultants and doctors to Poland. The errors they made were so obvious, it’s as if they hired trained monkeys to type them out...we are talking major legal implications if something goes wrong.
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  #36  
Old 23.06.2019, 12:26
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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Yep, the company I worked for outsourced the writing of legal contracts with suppliers, consultants and doctors to Poland. The errors they made were so obvious, it’s as if they hired trained monkeys to type them out...we are talking major legal implications if something goes wrong.
But that could happen and it happens sometimes everywhere?
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Old 23.06.2019, 13:20
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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But that could happen and it happens sometimes everywhere?
It shouldn't happen in countries where there is a common legal, business and practice ethos and framework. Problems really arise when the country that the work has been outsourced to, has larkedly different laws and practices. In that case, the original company can too often find themselves without any recourse within local law.

Imagine you work for a manufacturing company in Europe, but decide to outsource your accounts division to a non-European country. After a short while you find out that, despite all the employees being trained in how to run a paperless office, they have been printing out client account details complete with bank and credit card details. These prints have been left lying around the office and are disposed of without being shredded, literally in bin bags full of client sensitive data.
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  #38  
Old 23.06.2019, 13:25
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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But that could happen and it happens sometimes everywhere?
And your point is? We should just keep allowing it then?
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Old 23.06.2019, 13:29
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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And your point is? We should just keep allowing it then?
There´s nothing much you can do. Sh*t happens and this happens.

A company can decide where to have their business and forbidding them to off shore will have an impact on companies wanting to come to Switzerland, I´d imagine.
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Old 23.06.2019, 13:58
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Re: What’s with all the outsourcing?

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And your point is? We should just keep allowing it then?
From working at big banks in CH over the past couple of decades, can only agree with others that the (IT) out-sourcing / off-shoring (most especially to India) has not worked at all.

The cost of having to repeat low quality work due to errors in the lack of good bilateral language communication, working methods, cultural diversity challenges etc. etc. has proven to be fatal for some strategic programmes.

But, having said this, it seems that this is still the way forward, within an industry that needs to cut cost-centre operating costs i.e. mostly IT, to please management and stakeholders.

The big companies then run cultural diversity programmes, which probably guarantee 100% success in the end.

The social plans are amended, so that Swiss employees are protected above a certain age from their inevitable demise resulting from a role that no-longer exists (despite that role having been encouraged during the past 4 years by previous management, now long-resigned, replaced at least 3 times, and all now pursuing other career opportunities).

And, on each Senior Management change comes a new strategy - some more, some less for offshoring / outsourcing. They all issue Group emails on their latest Blog etc., plans for changing things.

But at the end of the day, as an employee, you just can't do anything but protect yourself from the aftermath of each change. Getting into their Spiel, networking with the 'right people' won't help, as the next one in the coming 6 months will change everything again.
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