Carlson CEO Sets Example for Execs Who Send IT Work Offshore - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
6/17/2005
03:03 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
50%
50%

Carlson CEO Sets Example for Execs Who Send IT Work Offshore

Eliminating jobs through outsourcing and offshoring can be a difficult decision for any business executive, so the temptation to downplay such moves is understandable. Who wants to end up on Lou Dobbs as an "Exporter of America?" But the fact is, outsourcing is taking a bum rap in part because executives won't talk about it--not even its upsides.

Eliminating jobs through outsourcing and offshoring can be a difficult decision for any business executive, so the temptation to downplay such moves is understandable. Who wants to end up on Lou Dobbs as an "Exporter of America?"

But the fact is, outsourcing is taking a bum rap in part because executives won't talk about it--not even its upsides.They won't talk about how it allows them to invest more in business development and strategic technology, thereby stimulating long-term job growth; they won't talk about how it greases entry into new, global markets; and they won't talk about how it gives them access to the best and brightest talent, regardless of location.

So with that in mind, it's refreshing to see Carlson Companies CEO Marilyn Carlson Nelson talk candidly about her company's plans to cut up to 525 tech and business positions as a result of a seven-year outsourcing agreement under negotiation with IBM. Rather than hide behind "disclosure rules" or "privacy policies" or some other dubious excuse that executives often use when wishing to conceal unpopular business practices, Carlson Nelson is up-front about her intentions.

In a statement, she says the decision to outsource was "very considered and difficult." Nonetheless, she notes that Carlson is a company "that markets its products and services globally," and, as such, "must use global resources."

She is both correct and courageous--particularly so given that Carlson Cos. is private and thus has a lesser obligation to disclose details of its operations than publicly traded corporations, most of which are offshoring but won't say a word about it.

If U.S. businesses don't want lawmakers to limit their ability to place work wherever they like, then more CEOs need to behave like Carlson Nelson and explain offshoring's necessity, its benefits, and why they should be allowed to keep doing it. Running and hiding from the controversy is not helping.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
CIOs Face Decisions on Remote Work for Post-Pandemic Future
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/19/2021
Slideshows
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
News
CRM Trends 2021: How the Pandemic Altered Customer Behavior Forever
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/18/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll