Shift Happens

by Mitch on 28/08/2008

Yesterday at work I had the pleasure of sitting with the managing director and various interested parties at work to discuss the future of technology. One of the really interesting parts of this discussion was the fact that I was constantly able to speak of the technical aspects and our MD would always bring that back to business realities.

During the meeting we watched an amazing video called Shift Happens and also Shift Happens 2.0 which raised a lot of interesting points about globalisation. The video is very US-centric, but realising the implications on Australia is honestly quite eye opening.

If you haven’t seen these videos already, I strongly suggest watching them. If you’re in a business that is potentially effected by the statements, I even more strongly recommend considering what this means to you and how this will effect your life. Because it will effect your life.

In a world of outsourcing, our lives change daily and the effects of growing economies such as India and China are effecting our lives all the time.

Ask yourself…

  • Can I be replaced by someone overseas?
  • Am I costing my company money, or making my company money?
  • Are there necessarily advantages of having me sit in my seat in Sydney?

No comments yet.

  1. 28/08/2008Kevin Wilson says:

    Neither video appeared to actually address globalisation other than the fact that India and China have larger populations and births than the USA which is understandable considering their actual populations.

    To address what is happening in todays emerging globalised economy, the videos need to show how the percentages of jobs that have been outsourced to less developed countries affects the major powers.

    It is a well established fact that large businesses will outsource as much of their manufacturing industries to places where the cost of living is so low that their profit margins will justify doing it – look at how General Motors outsourced everything to Mexico claiming it couldn’t afford to keep it’s US plants open.

    Can people be replaced by people overseas – yes, but funnily enough it’s only in such areas that require skill or a high level of technical expertise. Lower level manual labour can never be fully outsourced.

    Every employee who has rights costs their employer money – another reason why work is outsourced to other countries. No Unions or OH & S requirements mean you can cut corners and make more profit.

    In jobs like yours, if all you are doing is vetting phone calls, your seat in Sydney can be sent off to India however you are actually in an industry where other companies outsource their recruitment needs to do away with having a recruitment section. A lot of industries now look at finding employees in this way. Whereas 20 years ago, a company would hire someone and teach them the job, nowdays, that system rarely exists and they want ready made workers they can “buy off the shelf”.

    With the way technology is advancing, maybe in a few more years even your company will outsource recruitment and do it all via web conferencing – who needs to actually sit in a room to interview someone?

  2. 28/08/2008Mitch says:

    @Kev – thanks for the comment, below are some rebuttals.

    “It is a well established fact that large businesses will outsource as much of their manufacturing industries”

    While this is absolutely correct, it’s not just this kind of job that is being outsourced anymore. It’s high-end, high education roles too. General motors will not only outsource their manufacturing, but also their design because of the high education levels in these countries. Leaving what jobs left?

    “Every employee who has rights costs their employer money”

    Untrue, salespeople do not necessarily have a “cost” associated with their employment, but rather a revenue generated number. Any good sales person will never cost their employer money, but rather add value simply by performing their role.

    “Lower level manual labour can never be fully outsourced.”

    This will just be done by robots! 😉

    “maybe in a few more years even your company will outsource recruitment and do it all via web conferencing – who needs to actually sit in a room to interview someone?”

    Absolutely, a lot of companies may well go down this path! Unfortunately with any industry (such as recruitment and high-end sales roles) that requires relationships, this will be impossible. While it would be possible, recruitment is unlikely to outsource due to relationships requiring to be held. Someone on the phone couldn’t hold the relationships I hold with organisations in Sydney.