IT offshoring: Romney vs. Obama
A look at what will each candidate could do about IT offshore outsourcing
Computerworld - Offshore outsourcing, from the manufacturing to call center industries, has become a major issue in the 2012 presidential race.
Less clear is what these two candidates would do, if anything, about the offshoring of jobs that are among the most critical to the future of the U.S. economy -- IT positions and other highly-skilled, knowledge-based occupations.
IT offshore outsourcing has rarely been raised specifically to date by either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
But both presidential candidates, through their records and actions, appear to have deep knowledge about offshore outsourcing.
Here's how they stand based on their words and actions.
What did Mitt Romney know about offshore outsourcing and Boo.com during his tenure at Bain Capital?
Before Romney left Bain Capital in 1999, the financial services firm was wired into technology trends, though it didn't always see them correctly.
For instance, Bain invested in Boo.com (1998-2000), a U.K-based online fashion store that attracted more than $100 million in venture money. Boo.com perished just six months after launching its Web site, one of the biggest implosions of the dot-com era.
Bain got DoubleClick right, investing in the ad serving company in 1997, shortly after its founding.
Google paid $3.1 billion in 2007 for DoubleClick.
But the election isn't about Bain's venture capital bets. It's about, at least on the margins, whether Romney sees IT offshore outsourcing, or the transfer of high-paying jobs to low-wage countries, as an issue requiring government intervention.
The Washington Post recently reported that Bain has invested in companies that moved jobs to distant shores.
The Romney campaign is attempting to refute this, in part, by arguing some of this happened after Romney left the firm, but that reponse misses the point.
While at Bain Capital, Romney had a front row seat to many emerging technology trends, including offshoring.
In the early 1990s, Bain invested in Gartner, one of the world's top IT consulting firms, as part of a buyout.
A managing director at Bain, Stephen Pagliuca (who later became a co-owner of the Boston Celtics professional basketball team), was on Gartner's board during Romney's tenure at Bain. At that time, Gartner was certainly closely tracking the beginnings of the offshoring outsourcing industry.
A Bain connected fund, the Information Partners Capital Fund, lists Romney as a group member according to records filed in Delaware, where the fund was incorporated.
What Information Partners was involved in isn't clear, but there are clues.
Information Partners turns up in a reference to Cognizant, one of the largest offshore outsourcing companies in the world.
Venetia Kontogouris, who was on Cognizant's board during Romney's tenure at Bain, says in her bio that she was "senior vice president, venture development, at Cognizant Corporation, where she represented Cognizant in the Information Partners Capital Fund formed by Dun & Bradstreet and Bain Capital."
- NYC wants its old mechanical-lever voting machines back
- Twitter a big winner in 2012 presidential election
- E-voting machine swaps Obama vote for Romney; taken offline
- Ruling expected shortly in Ohio e-voting lawsuit
- Update: Lawsuit filed in Ohio over software updates to vote tabulation machines
- States rebut RNC complaints about e-voting systems
- Despite e-voting improvements, audits still needed for ballot integrity
- Obama, Romney cite Apple, tech issues in debate
- Twitter becomes new debate spin room
- IT offshoring: Romney vs. Obama
- 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
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- 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...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All IT Outsourcing White Papers | Webcasts