Obama attacks offshoring, seeks visa reform
Touts tech innovation, jobs in State of the Union speech against a mixed record so far
Computerworld - In his State of the Union Speech, President Barack Obama Tuesday night attacked offshoring, urged businesses to bring jobs back to the U.S., and renewed his appeal for visa reforms to keep foreign students from returning home after earning advanced degrees.
Obama Tuesday made many references to tech, to business start-ups and to innovation in the speech.
He urged Congress to back policies that help "every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs."
Laurene Powell Jobs, his widow, was among the invited guests.
Obama to date has had mixed record in the IT sector, especially in returning tech manufacturing jobs from offshore.
Obama has had no success in persuading Congress to undertake employment-based immigration reform and last year also appealed to Congress to give green cards to foreign students earning advanced degrees.
Obama also renewed his calls to protect research spending to develop "the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet."
But in every area related to technology discussed by Obama last night, there are problems.
For instance, in 2008 approximately 75% of the ERP development work was being run onshore in the U.S., according to Phil Fersht, who heads HfS Research. That has since decreased to 65%. The company gathered its data from about 5,000 firms over an 18 months period.
"U.S. IT firms with heavy Indian footprints are growing the capability of their Indian talent bases to take on more complex software development work," said Fersht.
But U.S. vendors say there is growing interest in bringing jobs back to the U.S.
A company that Obama cited earlier this month as an example of the insourcing trend was GalaxE Solutions. The company's "Outsource to Detroit" campaign has garnered national attention. But this firm operates a hybrid development that, similar to many other outsourcing firms, relies heavily on offshore operations in India and in China.
"While there are more cost-attractive options opening up on locations such as Michigan, there is a higher proportion of work heading to India," said Fersht.
Increased offshoring doesn't necessarily mean that development jobs are disappearing. Degrees of outsourcing vary by type of work. Despite the continuing movement of jobs offshore, the tech sector is adding positions. Forrester Research's analysis of hiring last year found that 131,000 services and software development jobs were added last year.
As for high-tech manufacturing, Obama faces a tough road ahead. The National Science Foundation recently reported that the number of high-tech manufacturing jobs declined by 28% since 2000, in part, because of automation improvements and offshoring.
Apple Computer, for instance, does most of its manufacturing overseas.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The value of smarter oil and gas fields With global energy requirements continuing to rise, the exploration, development and production of new oil and gas resources are shifting to increasingly challenging...
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Accelerating Speed to Market in the Highly Competitive Automotive Industry This White Paper discusses how an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solution optimizes project analysis, management, reporting and risk mitigation processes to accelerate new...
- Hedge Your Bets This report explains how visibility and increased governance is key to reducing risk.
- Make or Break: New Auto Products Must Go To Market On Time This Webcast quantifies the value of time to market for the auto industry and highlights how Primavera Enterprise Portfolio Management can help organizations.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Government/Industries White Papers | Webcasts