This article on Slashdot caught my attention the other day. It’s all about the changing face of offshore programming and links to a couple of interesting articles. The BusinessWeek Online article discusses how offshore prices are going up, whilst “local” prices lower. There is also quite a lot of discussion of the hidden costs including some of the resource and effectiveness issues I have mentioned before.

It seems that the market is balancing itself out — those in countries like India are starting to realise that they can/need to charge more and are doing so … the US (and presumably other developed markets like the UK) has realised that to compete prices need to come down significantly. I’ve said before that I think outsourcing can work really well, but for some projects it really isn’t suitable. Perhaps the current indicators are signs that the business world at large is realising this too. I would hope that this would result in a world where challenging, intricate work is done with the maximum levels of collaboration (and until the communication revolution really gives us what we need, co-location) which I believe is essential for success. On the other hand, those projects which can be worked in a distributed manner will continue to be outsourced to provide cost and speed advantages.