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Mumbai Bombings Give Outsourcing Community Pause 248

Posted by Zonk
from the interesting-times dept.
theodp writes "eWeek reports that the big fear of offshore outsourcing customers has become a reality: a major bombing attack in an outsourcing hub. In the wake of the attack, companies are considering their resources and preparedness. Despite understandable fears, people on the ground don't seem to think these latest attacks will have a long-term effect on the growth of India's tech sector." From the article: "The terrorist attack in Mumbai--and conflict between Israel and Lebanon for that matter--raise a series of questions for companies sourcing technology globally. Do you know the disaster recovery plans of your offshore services provider? Are their plans integrated with yours? And how prepared are these providers? "
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Mumbai Bombings Give Outsourcing Community Pause

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  • by consonant (896763) <shrikant.n@NOSPAM.gmail.com> on Sunday July 16, 2006 @07:42AM (#15727557) Homepage
    I know /.ers aren't too pleased with all this outsourcing, but isn't this reaction a bit extreme?
    • Re:Come on, guys.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis&gmail,com> on Sunday July 16, 2006 @07:50AM (#15727574) Homepage
      No, it raises a very good question.

      Are they ready for it? You can't just pick any non-industrialized nation, point and say "this is where our billion dollar software project will be made."

      I'm not saying smack about India [cuz frankly I've never been there] but if the region isn't ready for the business in terms of economic, academic and political stability then maybe it isn't wise to DEPEND on them for your business?

      It's one thing to ADD to your team with developers from other nations, e.g. setup a firm in Ireland or HK or something. It's another alltogether to depend solely on foreign assets.

      Frankly I like the idea of spreading jobs around the globe, but only if the recipients are actually qualified to do the job. And while I like beating up on the average lame india post [see comp.lang.c] I'm not foolish enough to think that North Americans are all that much better in that regard.

      Tom
      • Re:Come on, guys.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Eternauta3k (680157) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:44AM (#15727674) Homepage Journal
        not industrialized != politically unstable. look at uruguay, it's a fucking haven.
      • Tom, this problem is not about outsourcing, remember there were firms caught up in the 9/11 attacks whos disaster recovery plan was to store important documents in the other tower.
        You are right that companies should spread and test their disaster recovery and ensure that whatever one branch or department has, the others have access to in a disaster (even if its locked up in the company vaults around the world).

        We have had terrorist bombings (and other more mundane disasters) come along and wipe out entire p
      • Re:Come on, guys.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sakielnorn (946716)
        At this point, what nation can you really rely on for "economic, academic and political stability"? There were terrorist arrests in Toronto... cue Jon Stewart on the people who hate Canada: "Saying `I hate Canada' is like saying `I hate toast'." No matter what type of bread you are though, it seems someone is out to get you. It seems increasingly clear that you can't rely on anyone to provide a completely safe environment, and concentrating all of your assets in one location is an invitation to disaster.
      • Actually, many of the offshoring companies (esp. the big ones in India) have very effective disaster mitigation plans.
        If you see, most of the big offshoring work goes to big companies, and these companies have all backups stored in multiple countries, and many many other rcovery systems.

        Heck, I think the disaster recovery plans of these companies are better than most (if not all) of their clients.

        They did not become such big companies for nothing.
      • I may be wearing a tinfoil hat saying this, but India has a next-door neighbor armed with nuclear weapons.

        Who's to say some Indian-based Muslim terrorist group managed to get a 20 kT nuclear device built in Pakistan, sneak it into India, and then detonated it at Bangalore, India's technology center? The resulting detonation could kill up to one million people and deal a massive setback to India's technological progress.

        We all hope that Indian security forces are extremely well-aware of this potential terror
        • I've been saying this all along.

          If Al Qaeda really wanted to destroy the US economy, they would quit futzing around with the high risk / low reward threats on US soil and just walk a nuke into one of the massive tech centers and level the entire industrial complex. IBM has centers totaling 40,000 employees and a gazillion dollars worth of investments? Tons of other companies too? Your 20kT nuke scenario would destroy the US economy on a scale that would make 9/11 look like a kindergarden cakewalk.

          Luckily
          • Re:Come on, guys.. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MtViewGuy (197597)
            If Al Qaeda really wanted to destroy the US economy, they would quit futzing around with the high risk / low reward threats on US soil and just walk a nuke into one of the massive tech centers and level the entire industrial complex.

            Actually, here in the USA the really scary scenario is an improvised nuclear device (IND) attack on a critical railroad marshalling yard such as BNSF's Barstow Yard in Barstow, CA or Union Pacific's Bailey Yard in North Platte, NE, both of which are extremely critical to transc

      • Re:Come on, guys.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by dhruvx (942514) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @11:36AM (#15728115)
        Excuse me. I am an Indian and I live in Mumbai. Within 6-8 hours of the blasts the railway system had resumed completely. Everybody resumed their work on the very next day. Schools, Colleges, Offices - everything remained open. Nobody panicked. There was no chaos. There were no riots. Life was as it was before the bombings. Only thing that is worth mentioning was that the telephone networks ( cellular and POTS ) were jammed due to excessive calls. Oh and yes, people were searching for the dead / injured ones. But that has nothing to do with technology right? :/

        Now compare this with what happened in London, Madrid, NYC. Being in a particular region doesnt make you 100% safe from such things. It can happen to anywhere, at any place without any warning.
        • Re:Come on, guys.. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Nobody panicked. There was no chaos. There were no riots.

          Maybe you guys are used to it. But *I* wouldn't rely on a country in which it is normal to see bombs blow up once in a while to handle important data for my company. Seems logical, but I guess some will call that racism. Hence my posting as an AC. Sorry.
        • Re:Come on, guys.. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by euice (953774)
          It can't be that the only article touching such a subject says "gee, now they'll think about outsourcing again". dhruvx is right, it can happen anywhere, and when it happens the effect on outsourcing is the smallest problem to care about!
      • If you don't want to expose yourself and your business to random acts of extreme violence in public places, then don't locate your self or your business in the places where the locals have a habit of setting off bombs in public places. These horrible crimes happen because the local leadership (i.e. the mullahs, not the government) encourages the people to do these things.
        When everyone who is important decides not to invest money and resources in places where minor theological disputes are ha
      • No, it raises a very good question.

        Are they ready for it? You can't just pick any non-industrialized nation, point and say "this is where our billion dollar software project will be made."

        As opposed to putting a billion dollar project in an industrial nation? Would you say that the U.S. was "ready" for 9/11? Risk is just a part of doing business.

    • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @01:13PM (#15728426)
      is poor, desparate men and women with nothing to lose. Take someone, give them a job, a family and a future and see how eager they are to plant bombs on trains. That said, in 20 years when America's job market is flooded with 30 million+ (now legal) immigrants working for $5.15/hr, india and china's industrialization has drivin gas up to $10/gallon and a loaf of bread is $5-$10 dollars, expect to see random bombings and shootings here too.
  • by mrogers (85392) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @07:49AM (#15727571)
    Maybe it's time to consider moving those outsourced tech jobs back to a safe, terrorism-free city like London, Madrid or New York.
    • Anywhere in Manitoba or S'katwan would be fine I guess. Hard to bomb a wheat field. :-)

      Tom
    • Re:Home sweet home (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:24AM (#15727627) Homepage
      Maybe it's time to consider moving those outsourced tech jobs back to a safe, terrorism-free city like London, Madrid or New York.

      Completely right there. This is just self interested posturing, not a genuine concern. Besides which we don't usually talk about the Israeli IT industry as 'outsourcing'.

      Many of the people who flame endlessly about outsourcing are the same people who flame endlessly about libertarianism and how great the free market is.

      What do slashdotters tell the people whose clerical jobs are being replaced by the systems they are developing? There is a bizare doublespeak here: Outsourcing bad, automation good. Historically IT people have been really good at protecting their own job security while making everyone else's job insecure.

      Given the state of the IT job market I have a hard time feeling sorry for folk being outsourced. There are plenty of IT jobs around - if you actually have the skills that are in demand. And that should not be a problem if you really are worth the prices IT people expect.

      The people who have difficulty getting a new position are the folk without formal qualifications and without a depth of knowledge in a useful field. Back in the dotcom boom I came across a consultant 'programmer' who did not know C, Fortran or Java. The only 'programming language' he knew was Delphi.

      • Why would a programmer know C, Fortran, or Java? Real programmers program in binary.
      • Yeah, we've made a lot of jobs obsolete.

        We've also created entirely new fields of work, and we've made it possible for new industries to be created. Our technologies make things possible, making products and services possible, that could never be dreamt of without our help.

        I'm not going to say I'm ticked off at outsourcing, because it's a zero-sum game at the end of the day, one person loses a job, another gains it. But I'm not going to say I agree with you that those complaining are engaging in "doubl

        • I'm not going to say I'm ticked off at outsourcing, because it's a zero-sum game at the end of the day, one person loses a job, another gains it.

          It is not a zero-sum game, it's about efficiency. The lowering of cost (whether through automation or outsourcing), in a competitive market, results in the consumer paying a lower price. This allows products to enter new markets and create new opportunities and jobs. The internet boom wasn't a strictly technology driven phenomenon, it required lower cost PCs s
        • Re:Home sweet home (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Zeinfeld (263942)
          We've also created entirely new fields of work, and we've made it possible for new industries to be created. Our technologies make things possible, making products and services possible, that could never be dreamt of without our help.

          Not too long ago the general sentiment here was to send H1B workers as I then was 'back home'. Only I came over from CERN to help set up the Web consortium and bring the Web to the US. So net-net I think most people would say I created jobs here.

          The point I was making is th

      • Re:Home sweet home (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Waffle Iron (339739)
        There is a bizare doublespeak here: Outsourcing bad, automation good.

        It's not doublespeak; it's true. Automation would allow us to keep our trade deficits in check, increase per capita productivity, and avoid giving away our key skills gratis to those who might otherwise be paying us for them. Offshore outsourcing just piles up debt that we'll have to pay back one day (or actually more likely, just devalue our currency until the debt goes away), and it encourages the country's ability to create vital prod

        • The question is why companies choose to outsource rather than automate...

          I would say that the U.S. government and political system is creating a situation where the U.S. is so hostile to buisness and industrial production that it creates every incentive for outsourcing. If you see buisness as inherently bad, if you see factories as scourges on the earth, and create a whole slew of legislation, laws, restrictions, inspections, designed to restrict, punish, and discourage industrial production and productivit
    • Re:Home sweet home (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zaphod_es (613312) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @09:11AM (#15727712)
      Maybe New Orleans is a nice safe place. Of course the San Andreas fault is never going to crack so California is fine. But I like the weather in Florida so that could be a good choice.

      So a question: Where in the world is politically stable, economically stable, is free (so far) of catastrophic natural disasters and as a bonus has a decent climate?
      • New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, Birmingham, Vancouver, ............
      • So a question: Where in the world is politically stable, economically stable, is free (so far) of catastrophic natural disasters and as a bonus has a decent climate?

        The Nordic countries - Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland - are politically stable, have a steady economy (even if it is steadily deteriorating, thanks to our idiotic leaders insisting on globalization and free-market ideology) and the worst natural disasters in memory are winter storms, which typically cause rural areas to lose el

      • Costa Rica. May be hard to find in the map, but that's probably a good thing.
    • Yeah, it's not as if any engineering or customer support operations were talking place in any US city other than New York.
    • by Simonetta (207550) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @12:57PM (#15728386)
      Your attempt at irony is in extremely poor taste, even for a Slashdot nerd.

          The peoples of London, Madrid and New York were murdered at random by monsters who came to those places from distant lands where it is common to settle minor disputes by horrific acts of violence. The peoples of London, Madrid, and New York had learned from their history the futility of attempting to settle disputes through mass murder. They developed civilized methods of conflict resolution like fair court systems. They restrained themselves from mass murder in ways that are completely unknown to the subhumans who came to these cities from the disfunctional lands with the intention of genocidal slaughter.

          The resulting actions after suffering horrible murder by the citizens of London, Madrid, and New York against the peoples who come from disfunctional cultures are not racist or discriminatory, but reasonable and rational acts of self-defense from the people who come to their cities with the intent of murder. It is sad that the good, law-abiding, and civilized peoples who came to the great cities of civilization in order to escape from the madness of disfuctional societies suffer in the West due to the actions of monsters.

          But, it is the responsibility of the good, law-abiding, and civilized peoples from the disfuctional lands to seperate the monsters from their own society when they arrive in the civilized world. If the civilized people of a foreign culture can not or will not isolate and neutralize the monsters who live in their community, then they all will bear responsibility for the crimes that these monsters commit against the rest of the citizens. The entire community will suffer. That is the way that the world works.

        The citizens of the cities that have suffered from the crimes that subhumans commit are not responsible for their inability to tell monsters from civilized people among those have come to their cities from distant lands.
    • If people are concerned about mitigating the risk of terrorism, fire, flood, hurricane, etc., on IT services, then they should seriously consider ideas like "on shoring" or "rural shoring". Having ubiquitous connectivity allows people to work anywhere, including all spread out such that a "disaster" (look at the etymology of that word!) would have to be truly epic to interrupt service.

      :w
  • by Raedwald (567500) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @07:50AM (#15727573)

    How is outsourcing any different from sub contracting within your own country in this respect? Quoth the article:

    We didn't stop doing business in New York City or London after similar incidents

    Quite.

    • Well there is two angles to the "anti-outsourcing jobs" thing.

      Lou Dobbs Side: Americans are the only ones who should have decent paying jobs, that's the way God wants it.

      Pragmatic Side: Most outsourced companies turn to shit because they hire just about anyone willing to work for low wages. Net result are shitty Engrish products that suck twice as hard as most natively built products.

      The trick is to note there are many professional and smart people in the "outsourced nations". The problem is companies d
      • Well there is two angles to the "anti-outsourcing jobs" thing.

        Lou Dobbs Side: Americans are the only ones who should have decent paying jobs, that's the way God wants it.

        Pragmatic Side: Most outsourced companies turn to shit because they hire just about anyone willing to work for low wages. Net result are shitty Engrish products that suck twice as hard as most natively built products.

        I'm not even sure how to respond to this. Should I rant about slashdot's moderation system for modding this insightful

    • by El Cubano (631386) <roberto.connexer@com> on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:14AM (#15727615) Homepage

      FTA: Do you know the disaster recovery plans of your offshore services provider? Are their plans integrated with yours? And how prepared are these providers?

      In addition to your comment, not only did we not quit doing business in New York and London, but we didn't even change the way we do business. It is nearly five years after the Sept 11 attacks and most businesses still have no disaster recovery plan of their own. Does anyone seriously think that these same companies are concerned about whether their outsourced partners have such a plan? Sure, the companies that were in the WTC and lost huge amounts of people and equipment have probably laid out some plans. Some other people have probably been wise and seen the mistakes of others and laid their own plans. But largely, nobody has done anything to change they way of doing business. (Remember the proverb that says: "A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.")

      • by c_forq (924234) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:44AM (#15727673)
        The last 3 companies I worked for, and 2 orginizations I am involved with all have disater recovery plans. Every large company I know of has somewhere in the building a really large 3 ring binder filled with plans on what to do in case of flood, fire, chemical spill, tornado, etc. The what to do not only covers immediate response but also steps to recovery. One company I worked for even had plans in case of a nuclear attack (but I think it was drafted during the cold war and no one saw a reason to eliminate it).
        • The last 3 companies I worked for, and 2 orginizations I am involved with all have disater recovery plans.

          Having worked in serious disaster recovery, and disaster areas, I can tell you that the majoirty of disaster recovery plans are complete eyewash. Unless companies make a CEO level decision to actually exercise the personnel and processes involved in those plans, at a frequency that shows measureably the quality of the efforts, then no one will really know what to do. No one likes practice bleeding,
          • Depends on your deffinition of serious. We once had a chemical plant explosion that required immediate evacuation of the premises and several mile radius of the plant (which included a few residential zones). Everything was evacuated within an hour, the chemicals were contained within 4 hours, and cleaned up within 24. Within a month the plant what operating again almost back to full capacity. If the plans weren't drafted ahead of time there would have been much more confusion of who had to evacuate, ho
      • Hopefully most buisness don't have a disaster recovery plan. The likelyhood of any buisness being a victim of some major disaster is quite low, and the costs of being prepared are quite high. While certain industries, such as health care, transportation, investment and financial services, essential foods, are critical to society and I am willing to pay a premium to make sure those services are prepared for a disaster - I am not willing to pay a premium on a bottle of cola or a pair of underwear in order to
      • Sure, the companies that were in the WTC and lost huge amounts of people and equipment have probably laid out some plans. Some other people have probably been wise and seen the mistakes of others and laid their own plans. But largely, nobody has done anything to change they way of doing business. (Remember the proverb that says: "A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.")

        How much does a disaster recovery plan cost ? Or, to put it another way: from a shareholde

    • How is outsourcing any different from sub contracting within your own country in this respect?

      Target desirability - an attack on India's outsourcing centers would cause much more damage to India's economic infrastructure than attack on one in the US or UK if only because it would be more likely to cause companies to move their operations elsewhere; making India's a much more inviting target.
  • by r4d1x (779518) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @07:57AM (#15727586)
    Why do we always outsource to places that are stuck in eternal struggles. Seriously, when was the last time Iceland or New Zeland had some terrorist plot or civil war ensue.
    • by torpor (458) <jayv@NoSpam.synth.net> on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:27AM (#15727634) Homepage Journal
      Because life is cheap in those places, and therefore so is business.

      Corollary: Business puts a low value on human existence.
      • by RexRhino (769423) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @03:26PM (#15728970)
        Corollary: Business puts a low value on human existence.

        Which is why we should be against buisness, and for giving more power to the state. Because if there is anything that Mao, Stalin, Chowchesku, Pol Pot, Hitler, Castro (and insert any other socialist dictator of your choice) have tought us, is that when you eliminate private buisness then you have a blossoming of human rights and value of human life it truly appreciated.

        Yeah, and never mind that Iceland and New Zealand are amoung the most unrestricted free-market economies in the world! And that free-markets are a relatively new and still limited in India and China, which were pretty much hardcore Socialist until the last few years. Yeah, it couldn't possibly be that the people are easily exploited in India and China because of the desperate poverty created by years of mismanaged central planning, forced labour, or rigid caste system - it is all those evil evil evil buisnessmen!

        If only we were valued as much as the people in buisness-free North Korea! We can only dream!
    • Why do we always outsource to places that are stuck in eternal struggles.


      The people there are cheaper because they are in eternal struggle.

      -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
    • "Why do we always outsource to places that are stuck in eternal struggles."

      Cheap labor.

      "Seriously, when was the last time Iceland or New Zeland had some terrorist plot or civil war ensue."

      The last time the majority was anything but fat, happy and content enough to expect a higher paycheck.
    • New Zea Land Population - 4 Million
      India Population - 1 Billion plus

      New Zealand Per Capita Income - 24K
      India Per Capita Income - 4K

      as compared to

      US Per Capita Income - 41K

      My guess is all of New Zealand's spare capacity in IT field can be absorbed by GE in less than a year.

      PS: Guess which country is more attractive in terms of population and cost/benefit. These might overweigh the security risks (if they can be mitigated).

      I know the salaries of people in technology field in India are quite high, but they wil
  • by CurtMonash (986884) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @07:57AM (#15727588) Homepage
    Three considerations, IMO, outweigh the rest:

    * Telecom infrastructure
    * Work process
    * Geographical diversification

    You need reliable telecom infrastructure for obvious reasons. You need good work processes for backup and the like, but even more so that if you lose the people on a project, somebody else can step in and at least understand what needs to be done. And you need geographical diversification so that, if worst comes to worst, there IS somebody else to step in.

    To the extent you have those three, outsourcing or otherwise doing business in unstable places can be a smart risk to take. If not, you can be very badly exposed.
  • So this article is basically saying "they just bombed a company, do you think our sources are OK?!"?
  • Moral bankruptcy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:08AM (#15727605) Homepage
    Two hundred innocent people are killed and people are worried that future events like these might cause an IT outage?

    That's seems about on a par with worrying about doing business with Cantor Fitzgerald because they had an office located in the World Trade Center.

    And what, exactly, makes people think that India is going to be more subject to future terrorist attacks than... well, you fill in that sentence any way you please.
    • Re:Moral bankruptcy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kohath (38547) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:24AM (#15727628)
      Two hundred innocent people are killed and people are worried that future events like these might cause an IT outage?

      Yes. Specifically, they are people who have the responsibility to prevent or otherwise deal with IT outages.

      The people who think the only moral thing to do in a crisis is to be emotionally overwrought are of no use to anyone when a crisis occurs. You can go sit in a closet and cry while the rest of us solve problems for the people who didn't get killed.
    • First, let me say that I agree with your subject: This article is crass.

      And what, exactly, makes people think that India is going to be more subject to future terrorist attacks than... well, you fill in that sentence any way you please.

      Kashmir and Pakistan. India has recently been subject to more terrorist attacks than most places-- a couple a year for the past five or six years, I think. There were bombings in Mumbai a few years ago, so it's not like this is new either.

    • by cvas (150274)
      Please. Exactly what were you expecting here? The lives lost are a tragedy, no one is saying otherwise, but if you think that people who have dealings in the area aren't questioning their future you are being naive.

      People who live and work there are wondering if they should anymore (if they even have a choice). People who do business there are wondering if they should take their business elsewhere. The people that run these companies are paid to keep the companies running, not shut down operations in protes
      • if you think that people who have dealings in the area aren't questioning their future you are being naive.

        Well, I suppose the fools are "questioning their future", but the competent (not "naive") people would already have plans in place.

        And what if there is a future IT outage due to terrorist attacks? How would that affect the world? How would that affect the companies that are subject to that outage? Would they fold? Would their employees be out of work and as such no longer able to support their f

        • Terrorism isn't magically more harmful than cyclones or earthquakes, for example.

          No, it is more harmfull than blind forces of nature for a simple nonmagical reason: there's a malicious intelligence behind the events, guiding them so they cause maximum damage, and which will likely strike again.

    • Re:Moral bankruptcy (Score:3, Informative)

      by Megane (129182)

      And what, exactly, makes people think that India is going to be more subject to future terrorist attacks than... well, you fill in that sentence any way you please.

      Oh, I don't know... maybe it's that little feud they've got going on with their next-door neighbor Pakistan, AND both of them have nukes?

    • Two hundred innocent people are killed and people are worried that future events like these might cause an IT outage?

      That's not moral bankruptcy as you claim, it's people worrying about what will affect them more. Lot's of people die every day for lots of reasons -- it's not our moral responsibility to worry for each and every one of them.

      -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

    • not really. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Artifex (18308)

      Two hundred innocent people are killed and people are worried that future events like these might cause an IT outage?
      That's seems about on a par with worrying about doing business with Cantor Fitzgerald because they had an office located in the World Trade Center.

      Many people died in New Orleans, too, when Katrina blew and washed through. Guess what? Companies are moving data centers away from there, too. Is that wrong?
      Plug in "hurricanes" instead of "bombs" for where you said "future events," and you'll g

    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      "And what, exactly, makes people think that India is going to be more subject to future terrorist attacks than... "

      One word: Kashmir.
    • > Two hundred innocent people are killed and people are worried that future events like these might cause an IT outage?

      You do realise the society is run for the benefit of the economy, and not the other way around.
    • Do you think some of that IT might be for a hospital? Or, maybe for the law enforcement agencies that are trying to track down terrorists and prevent the next attack? Do you think the injured survivors would have rather had people mourning in the streets for the dead or trying to keep the hospital running, which includes IT?

      Mourning is fine, but the living have to get on with life. As Jesus said: "Let the dead bury the dead."

      By the way, Israel isn't at war with Lebanon. They're at war with Hezbollah, wh
    • No no no... They are not worried there might be an IT outage from a terrorist attack, they are giddy and happy that if there are lots of terrorist attacks in India, that maybe "them indians will stop stealing our jobs"! The article is your typical Slashdot FUD: "See, move your IT to India and it will get blowed up!"
  • Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Clueless Nick (883532) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:22AM (#15727623) Journal
    All major American, and certain European cities are under the threat of bombs, and not just normal bombs at that. You have the first world luxury of choosing from biological, chemical, nuclear and neurotic weapons. So why don't people speak about the threat to all technological and commercial sourcing?

    So why the fuck is the bombing in Mumbai so important to /.? Are you all softbellies scared of getting outsourced?

    Mark me flamebait, lazy overpaid supremacist!

    -clueless

    • Yes how dare people be worried about how they're going to pay the mortgage after all the work they can do gets sent overseas. The racist bastards! Or is there some mysterious IT cult that gives you three years' experience in a given field by some kind of voodoo magic?
    • Someone mod this parent +Funny! What the hell are "neurotic weapons"?? Does is have anything to do with robots programmed with the personality of Woody Allen?
  • Silly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dotdevin (936747) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:32AM (#15727649)
    Come of folks. So the world's largest democratic country with the world's largest population of English speaking citizens has one city bombed and the US is going to rethink its direction to outsource technology workers there? Nope!

    In fact, many of the export centers are not in the city center and were unaffected by this event. Knowing many Indians, those that were will be back up and running in no time flat no matter what it takes.

    Now, there may be reasons to rethink outsourcing such as low productivity, higher costs, poor quality of work, and customer relation issues but this is not one of them.

    The best wishes of many people in the US go out to every Indian and we stand in solidarity with the many many millions of peace loving, free citizens of that nation.
  • *sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:47AM (#15727679) Homepage Journal
    My first reaction to this was "I wonder how this will affect IT outsourcing?"

    My second reaction was shame that that should be my first reaction, when I have friends and colleagues with family there.

    Personally, I don't think this should have a practical impact on outsourcing decisions. India is a stable democracy; war may stir ethnic and religious resentment, but I don't see things changing overnight in a way that affects business. And even at intolerable levels, terrorist attacks have almost no actuarial significance.

    On the other hand, China is frightening. It's not longer precisely accurate to call it a totalitarian state, but politically it is still a one party, non-democratic state. Mature democracies have a kind of dynamic stability, where individuals and parties change, but politics and policy don't shift that dramatically. Systems based on the authority of a single group may be superficially stable, but they are vulnerable to individuals or groups of individuals being replaced, or even just changing their minds. Put the nation under stress, and you could well have an ultra-ideological hard liner becoming supreme leader.

  • Do you know the disaster recovery plans of your offshore services provider? Are their plans integrated with yours? And how prepared are these providers?
    yeah ! Let's make a back up of our chief engineer's brain, just in case he gets blown to pieces, you insensitive clod!
    • yeah ! Let's make a back up of our chief engineer's brain, just in case he gets blown to pieces, you insensitive clod!


      No, it's "let's not amplify the personal tragedy to the point where it threatens to collaterally damage the lives of all of our employees and investors and everyone who does business with us, by being too stupid to take sensible steps to protect our business."

      Or, as the adage says, "don't put all your eggs in one basket."

  • What crap! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, 2006 @08:56AM (#15727687)
    Yea... I am from India and this is the worst kind of FUD I have seen. Terrorist attacks form a much smaller risk then fire, floods and other hazards. A city capable of dealing with those can pretty much handle any such terrorist emergencies. This article is pure FUD.
  • The question is what you can do to not be affected by such an event. Move back to the homeland, as no doubt a lot of politicians would like you to? Those places aren't safe from these attacks. Move your business to a deserted island in the Pacific? The next tsunami might be just around the corner (you know those once-in-a-thousand-years things don't stick to schedule). There is no safe place anywhere, so get disaster recovery plans on the way and actually test them occasionally. And keep your data backup in
  • Security is one of the reasons why the US has a successful economy. If you are looking to open a business, are you going to do it where there are drug dealers and gangs on every corner and you need an armed security team 24/7? Of course not! You are going to open your business where you employees can make it to and from work safely.

    The same can be said for a country. Right now, I'm willing to be there are not a whole lot of companies looking to open shops up in N Korea, Lebanon, Iran and Syria.

    Stable go

  • That is really what is at stake. Does India have what it takes to invade and occupy a country, any country, as a demonstration to their citizens and the world that they will not tolerate terror?

    How does a country assure the world that it is working to make itself safe from terror? Has the Bush administration made the U.S. safe from terror by channeling Homeland Security money to Indiana Amish popcorn factories instead of container-by-container port inspection?
  • by Don_dumb (927108) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @10:23AM (#15727899)
    Having looked at the posts, I feel everyone has concentrated on the terrorism risks of outsourcing. But for me the far more important risks when shifting work overseas are those that are non-political.
    For instance, if you are moving your call centre overseas (albeit you would probably be the last company to do so). Can you trust that the telecom downtime will be negligable?
    Or for any type of business. Is the local power supply reliable?

    Both of the above examples are not simgle massive event but constant issues and be massively damaging to mantaining custom.
    IMHO those are the types of concern that outsourcers should be taking into account when moving abroad.

    Having said that I imagine that labour is pretty cheap in the Gaza Strip right now, but I dont think many companies will be moving in at the moment.
  • Dude, what the hell is "outsourcing community"? I mean, we have Mac-communities, that have people who use Macs. We have Linux-communities, where people use Linux. We have things like gay and lesbian-communities, where people are of certain sexual orientation. Then what is "outsourcing community"? A group of people who... outsource?

    Maybe they should outsource their community?
  • Run for the Hills! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @10:46AM (#15727969)
    One in 5,000,000 Indians were killed last week in train bombings. That means that you should review your disaster recovery plans.

    But wait: One in 2,600,000 Americans die each and every day in automobile accidents! That can only mean we need to prepare for Armageddon!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, 2006 @01:24PM (#15728468)
    Just another example of the high costs- physical, economic, psychic- of having a large Muslim population in your midst. Israel suffers from it for dispossesing the Palestinian people- mainly the Muslim flotsam and jetsam of imperial Turkey, resettled in Judea from Egypt, Circassia, and the Balkans during the Ottoman Empire's slow-motion collapse. Yet what of India, the victim of 1400 years of continual jihad aggression during which millions of Hindus were slaughtered or enslaved, tens of thousands of temples and monuments destroyed, and in the modern age two large sections of it carved out to make homelands for its invaders? Yet what did it do to deserve this enemy from without (Pakistan and to a lesser extent Bangladesh) and within (150 million Indian Muslim "citizens") besides succumbing in the end to continuous jihad aggression? And why are Western countries voluntarily replicating the same conditions for themselves by allowing millions of Third World Muslim colonist-invaders into their midsts?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Terror in times of political correctness
      The Indian Express [indianexpress.com]
      Sunday, July 16, 2006 Tavleen Singh

      It has long been my view that political correctness is dangerous and usually harms those people and ideas it seeks in a muddled liberal fashion to protect. But, even as someone who holds this view, I was astounded at the insane political correctness we saw in the response of the political class and most of the media to last week's ghastly bombings in Mumbai.

      The issue is terrorism. Right? The issue is the

  • What I think... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whoisvaibhav (654143) on Sunday July 16, 2006 @01:31PM (#15728492) Homepage
    Putting aside emotional reactions which would cause me to make comments like: "people are dying and yet you are thinking about IT infrastructures"... (I am an Indian, and have lots of relatives and friends in Mumbai). I know that life went on after the blasts. I know that the big IT companies in India are world leaders when it comes to having processes and procedures concerning their business. (I am in the IT industry myself). In my experience, most of the clients that I have worked with have had little or no processes themselves. So, it is unfair to think of this in a light where India (the country being out-sourced to) needs to have back-up plans, and disaster recovery procedures. Anyway, I think that the whole world is fair game for terrorist activities (terrorists being what they are), so we should be discussing about these procedures, plans, etc. at a global level. - Vaibhav

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf

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