IBM tries offshoring yet more jobs

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IBM (NYSE:IBM) has kicked off a huge research program to improve how it manages its customers' IT systems. It aims to bring scientific rigor to outsourcing. But I can't help thinking this is just about moving more jobs overseas. Let me explain, in The Long View...

I was reading an article by Joab Jackson earlier, and it struck me that this is an attempt by IBM to offshore even more jobs from high-wage economies to places where wages are lower. In the article, Mr. Jackson does his usual professional job of reporting the facts, and staying away from commentary or personal interpretation. I, on the other hand, have no such instinct. So let's try and dissect what IBM's actually saying here, shall we? Read on...

IBM is assigning 200 of its researchers to the help the company manage its customers' business systems with more scientific precision.
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The idea...is to "automate labor-based processes, make them more repeatable, more predictable, and work on business outcomes with our clients."

Hmm, sounds like a laudable aim. Science. Precision. Rigor. Repeatability... These are doubtless key goals of the research project.

They're also key to successful outsourcing of a workflow to a low-wage economy. And by "workflow" I mean your workflow -- managing IT systems.

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