Hardware

Heads in the sand when it comes to the coming "brain drain"


Not long ago, I blogged about the loss of institutional knowledge as a result of the first wave of the baby boom generation beginning to retire, and the need to begin some sort of knowledge retention program. I was sitting in a meeting the other day when CIOs from around the country began to talk about their legacy systems and how they cannot seem to get funding to replace them. In the same breath, they go on to say that they are dependent on a few select individuals to keep things running, who know the ins and outs of the systems. Then, they mention that these few with the inside knowledge are nearing or are eligible for retirement. I frankly can’t understand why they were not in tears about this except for the fact that THEY (the CIOs) are at or about retirement age themselves, and when things go to heck in a hand basket--they will be out of there as well!

Folks, this is a real crisis that is about to happen and most people are lackadaisical about it. I often hear people say that pandemic flu is not an if but a when, and I am here to tell you that the retirement of the baby boom generation is a guarantee!

This is a phenomenon that is not just going to affect IT but the ENTIRE organization from top to bottom -- executive suite down to the mailroom. This means that for those of you with aging legacy systems, not only will you be losing your support -- you will most likely be losing your subject matter experts around the same time. Now are you worried? No? Let me go on then.

The next time you are sitting in a meeting, look around and see who is eligible or nearly eligible for retirement. I recently attended a meeting in which only three of us out of 16 people attending, had more than 10 years to retirement. The rest had five years or less, and many were eligible already and were hanging around until their health gave out or someone POed them bad enough to make them walk.

For those of you who think that this is a normal process of evolution for an organization, let me correct that for you. This will be one of the first times in modern society where organizations begin to lose people in large clumps. In fact, some organizations already have entire units or departments that could walk out the door tomorrow! Couple this with the "let's continue to try to get blood out of a turnip" philosophy of “doing more with less” and we have further increased our risk. We now have more people with more levels of responsibility than we have ever had in the past. People are doing jobs that used to be separated into two or more positions. And if you say that is a result of technology -- I say bah! It is a result of downsizing, and management allowing for poorer quality of goods and services from their organizations. Most of the jobs that have been downsized due to technology have already done so. The remaining jobs are generally critical to the organization.

For those of you in your late 30s or early to mid 40s, realize that it will probably be YOU who is left holding the bag when the exodus begins to occur. If this doesn’t inspire you to begin making a business case for knowledge retention, I don’t know what will.

Of course, even if you are duly inspired, it is very possible that your business case will fall upon deaf ears. For some reason, society seems to like to stick its collective heads in the sand until things reach a crisis. Unfortunately, this probably describes your management as well.

However, if you choose to be proactive, there are a few strategies you can take that might help alleviate the situation. Here are a few suggestions:

Scare the living daylights out of them. Them being management, particularly your finance people. When asking for funding to replace legacy systems, you need to tee this up like you did for Y2K. You know how to do it. Get some figures from HR regarding the number of people in your organization that will be eligible for retirement in three, five, and 10 years--by department, if you can--and then let the numbers start talking. While you're at it, talk about compliancy in the same breath.

There is no better way to retain legacy knowledge than to create new systems with the input of those folks carrying around the institutional knowledge. Make sure your user representatives on development teams have at least one person who is nearing retirement.

The next time a position is freed up in your unit; think real hard about spreading the duties of that position to others and hiring someone expressly to begin documentation of all your systems. That includes the documentation that is sitting on that shelf that no one has bothered to update for 15 years because everyone has been so busy.

 

Be a trend setter. Instead of scaring upper management, as suggested above, actually ask for an additional position expressly for documentation purposes.

Start cross training your staff. Combine your documentation and cross-training efforts into your pandemic preparation and COOP plans. Use this as a way to sell the idea to management. If you have two people thinking about retiring, think about creative ways of keeping them on the payroll for a period of time while you make sure you can do some thorough knowledge transfer. Some options for retiring workers might be working part-time, job-sharing, being available on an on-call basis, or providing a small consultancy period while they provide documentation.Begin mentoring programs. In your areas of control, set up a program in which a senior staff member begins the formal process of passing knowledge on to juniors.

Suggest to management that they look into an organization wide knowledge harvesting program: http://www.knowledgeharvesting.org/default.htm

Put an ITIL, CMM, or similar framework into place. These programs demand good documentation.

Do all of the above.

Knowledge drain is an issue that organizations need to deal with now. By the time the baby boom generation reaches the traditional retirement age of 65, they will represent 20 percent of the U.S. population. That will be in 2011. However, more than half of the new recipients of Social Security benefits tend to opt to collect starting at age 62, and close to 70 percent do so before age 65. If that is the case, we are looking at 2008 as a starting year for the exodus. And yes I know that people are tending to work longer; however, wanting to, needing to, and physically being able to continue are entirely different matters. Trusting that the transition will be smoother than we think is just another example of trying to avoid the issue.

I believe this is an issue that should be treated much like Y2K, and risk assessments should begin as soon as possible. This is particularly so if you have aging legacy systems still in production and no plan for replacement. If your organization is ignoring it, sound the alarm -- and at least begin to plan for it for yourselves.

46 comments
Tig2
Tig2

My fiance get kicked to the curb- not once, twice! In the company he worked 24 years for, he was re-badged to the "new IT partner". On Monday with less than 10 months to first possible retirement point, he was severed from the company that he was re-badged to- who had to maintain his years of service. That same company is looking for someone with his skill set and quals but at two paygrades lower. One day, someone will "get it". I am not holding my breath.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

I think Obama gets it. As Lou Dobbs stated, Americans are forced to compete with cheap labor in countries that have 3rd world work place standards. Cheap labor doesn't get benefits, don't follow safety standards, health standards, payment standards( $.85 cents an hour with 12 hour workdays is not a high standard of living, sorry ), and US employees who live in a civilized, industrial nation are forced to compete with that. Btw, big businesses do not care about where the labor comes from, just what the price is. The result is pressure to lower wages and standard of living in the US instead of forcing the 3rd world'ers to raise their standards. Oh, and corporations get corporate welfare on top of cheap labor. Guess who is paying the cost of the corporate welfare? Yes, you are. And that is after that corporation let you go and forced you into a lower paying job.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

It may be hard to understand, but corporate leadership really doesn't care about the loss of knowledge. You cannot scare them. No matter your skill level, you are getting $25/hr or higher and, thanks to outsourcing, bad trade agreements, lack of tariffs or other restrictions, are competing with staff who make $0.85/hr and work 12 hour days. Oh. And they do not get benefits of any kind, nor do they have to pay extra to comply with environment friendly, political friendly, or anything-else friendly restrictions. When President Bush said the American can compete globally as long as we level the playing field, many took it to mean tariffs and other restrictions to bring the competition up to our level. But what he actually meant was that he would bring the US standard living down to that of 3rd world countries. With fuel prices tripling since 2000, Health Care benefits becoming non-existent, and other price increases, we are making less money that ever. In 2002, 20% of profit increases went to the employees( below executive level ) of a company, now it is 4%. The ratio of executive to employee salary was once 16 to 1, now it is 462 to 1. Get the picture? Good night, and good luck.

WKL
WKL

When you have a bunch of little Gen-X pricks running things?

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

[i].....where organizations begin to lose people in large clumps."[/i] No, that's not quite accurate. Early 1942 was pretty significant. And not only did organizations have to replace those people, but they had to totally switch gears and start manufacturing a different product. Have more faith in yourselves, man! You'll be able to handle whatever problems arise.

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

Not only are you young guys gonna' have to figure out all those [i]"legacy systems"[/i], as you mentioned, but you're ALSO gonna' have to pay for their Social Security and Medicare until they're 100!

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Figuring when I finally get to retirement age the young people who will have to pay such things will say, "No Way! Retirement age is now 75." I planned on having a nest egg when I got there. But it's smaller than hoped and costs are higher. Que Sera! I still have plenty of time. Who wants to retire anyway?

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

It's not possible for GOVERNMENT to give (or provide) something for one person, without TAKING it from another person. Government is nothing but a broker, a middle-man. Learn it, and vote accordingly.

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

It's called a VOTING BLOCK. For the past thirty or forty years, people have been VOTING themselves other people's money. The Baby Boomers will be one of the largest VOTING BLOCKS in America. Between the Baby Boomers and the Socialists, you guys are DOOMED!!!!! As a disclaimer: I'm a Baby Boomer, but I've been beating this warning drum for a LONG TIME. My warnings, however, have gone unheeded, falling upon deaf ears. I have been an advocate of privatizing, either whole or in part, Social Security. I have been an advocate of phasing out Social Security over a forty year period. But I've been called mean-spirited. And now, YOU GUYS will be stuck with paying ALL THOSE BABY BOOMERS their Social Security for as long as Medicare keeps us alive!!!!!! It's both funny and sad at the same time. Because some of YOU GUYS are the ones who've been calling ME mean-spirited because I advocate phasing out Social Security. The moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for....

DelbertPGH
DelbertPGH

O'Neill (Bush's first Treasury secretary) thought that the budget surplus that Lawrence Summers left behind could be used to re-establish the whole Social Security system as a bunch of private 401Ks. He figured it would take close to a trillion dollars, I think he said in his book, and a lot of political muscle. Most of the money would be required to set up accounts for people at or near retirement, who wouldn't have time to build up savings. His management team wound up favoring politically popular tax cuts instead, and softpedaled the difficult privatisation piece. Frankly, I don't know how the retirement is going to be paid for, even if private accounts were set up (which they weren't.) Whether you have private or public systems, they depend upon fraction of the country that's actually working to provide the profits or taxes required to fund the comfort of the non-working. All of us boomers pouring money into our 401Ks drives up the value of the shares. What happens to the price when we all turn around and start cashing out? Are there going to be enough asset-hungry people in the working population to keep valuations up? I'm afraid of the outcomes. I could be a much poorer Delbert, with a lifetime of savings gone in smoke, working until my health gives out, and taxed to the neck so I can support everybody who stopped working before me. Surrounded by younger co-workers who only learned a sense of entitlement in high school and majored in sociology in college. And the Chinese, taking over the world's trade routes and threatening to demand real money for all the T-bills they are holding. The good days may be behind us already.

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

You and I are in the same boat (and about the same age), and we'll both be impacted by what the younger generation decides. Yep, they will say that we made a mess, but I've been on my soapbox for more years than I can remember, and I've advocated a total overhaul of the SS system for over twenty years. So in the very least I can say, [i]don't blame me, I told you so[/i]. Whenever any politician got serious about it, however, everybody -- including these same younger people -- shot it down and wouldn't vote the person into office. And still, nobody's touching it. (And this doesn't include the looming Medicare collapse either!) I just don't get it. Nonetheless, they'll either have to pay, or take care of aging parents themselves. Will there be another choice? Personally speaking, however, I'm going broke saving all the money I possibly can so I can take care of myself! And even today, I'd take a Social Security "settlement" of one lump sum payment of all I've paid in, even with no interest, and I'd waive all future obligations. And for the record, I advocate a planned phase-out of the entire Social Security system over a forty year period.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

I consider myself a late baby boomer, born in mid fifties. Eventually there will be fewer baby boomers than actual workers. And I might still be alive by then. What I used to think about is a younger generation looking at the economic mess their elders made that they are supporting and saying, "What's up with that? Why are we supporting these old farts who made the problem? They made the mess, let them clean it up." But your right, be careful what you wish for.

SerferGrrl
SerferGrrl

I think the article, while helpful, didn't address a key problem. There are many who don't want to share their knowledge for fear of being let go early after imparting their years of wisdom. Just a thought, because knowledge hoarding happens.

certellusllc
certellusllc

I found the article provoking and certainly by all indications it has been likewise for many other individuals as well. When you look at the cross section of responses they are, for the most part, solution proposals (eg. offshore, cross-train, implement frameworks, etc.). These for of reply characterizes us as measuring CIO value by techniques and not based on capacity to direct. If the organizations are lacking the things that are mentioned, this is an indication that the leadership isn't leading. IT leadership (regardless of the title) creates a climate that not only builds organizations but directs the segment of the organization in an appropriate fashion. I purposefully refrain from saying what that direction might be, but surfice it to be one that makes sound business sense. It isn't about technology, it isn't about frameworks, it's all about right technical elements to fulfill a competitive business purpose (and in many cases lead within our business itself). What is troublesome in this area is that companies still look for CIO/CTO traits that are traditional, rather than trully understand what is needed to reach visions & goals. I can assure you that this form of 'head in the sand' approach (which is viewed as safe) will in fact result in the further decline of the US IT organizations. As one wrote about offshoring, and having recently returned from China, I can assure you that these are cultures driven to make things happen. Here we are willing to make things happen, if it is politically correct or safe (rather than to walk boldly in new fronts of attack).

kovachevg
kovachevg

Yes, you talked quite a bit about "vision". But often vision in a company with core competencies other than technology stifles the creative drive of IT professionals because for top management it is about profit, politics, and Wall Street ratings. That's why we now see the Age of Consultants. Real achievement is not about "vision", is not about spin, and is not about Wall Street. It is about the results you wanted to get and the challenges you have conquered to reach those results. It is about the people who have grown by your side, not about the salary expenses you were able to save. It is about customers who are happy because they buy great products coceived with ingenuity, created with diligence, and innovated with dedication.

certellusllc
certellusllc

I found the article provoking and certainly by all indications it has been likewise for many other individuals as well. When you look at the cross section of responses they are, for the most part, solution proposals (eg. offshore, cross-train, implement frameworks, etc.). These for of reply characterizes us as measuring CIO value by techniques and not based on capacity to direct. If the organizations are lacking the things that are mentioned, this is an indication that the leadership isn't leading. IT leadership (regardless of the title) creates a climate that not only builds organizations but directs the segment of the organization in an appropriate fashion. I purposefully refrain from saying what that direction might be, but surfice it to be one that makes sound business sense. It isn't about technology, it isn't about frameworks, it's all about right technical elements to fulfill a competitive business purpose (and in many cases lead within our business itself). What is troublesome in this area is that companies still look for CIO/CTO traits that are traditional, rather than trully understand what is needed to reach visions & goals. I can assure you that this form of 'head in the sand' approach (which is viewed as safe) will in fact result in the further decline of the US IT organizations. As one wrote about offshoring, and having recently returned from China, I can assure you that these are cultures driven to make things happen. Here we are willing to make things happen, if it is politically correct or safe (rather than to walk boldly in new fronts of attach).

kovachevg
kovachevg

Here comes a new age, the Age of Consultants. IT managers are very comfy with them because all a manager has to do is get the needs of top management and hand them over to the consultants, who then spice things up with features, value-add, what not. The result: everyone is happy. The projects are on budget and on schedule, we have a bleeding-edge, state of the art system that does exactly what top managed asked for, and we have a safe haven called a Service Level Agreement - just another hefty fee for the consultants that is subject to upticks every year because the sytems "evolve". That's good news for us, IT folks. We get to do what we want and we charge the CEOs for it sky-high. We work less and once we are done, we just move on. Let them hire some flunky technicians to deal with the chores of maintenance. After all, the inspiring work has come to an end and we have just taken on an even more challenging project elsewhere. Now the aftermath: companies pay more and more for systems nowadays, with features they do not need, with enticing SLAs that will have them pay through the nose, and have meager IT talent that is always ready to jump ship. Inhouse system-builing projects are a dwindling trend and so are the skills of an IT manager to handle internal technical work with prowess. So here comes the Age of Consultants and their customers who will pay steep. Of course, few companies will have the clairvoyance to see that IT managers slowly turn into responsibility labels, and even fewer companies will have the guts to spend the money necessary to create a strong internal IT organization that will allow IT managers to do what they are supposed to do - manage technology, NOT contracts.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

every once in a while you have to rebuild some system/process/organization from scratch. There's some good advice in the article if applied wisely. A few organizations will try something like that. I think most won't. Some of those will reorganize, rebuild and survive some won't. Sort of like saying the weather will be hotter and the weather will be colder. Both are correct! lol As some have pointed out it means there will probably be a market for us after retirement.

Calson
Calson

The y2k type scare won't work for 3 reasons: 1: Can't tell people that planes will fall out of the sky. 2: Been done, nothing happened. You would end up sounding like the boy who cried wolf. 3: You can't say "On this date..." which is require to shift people off their behinds. From my experience, CIO's do recognise this issue, but cannot seem to get it through to the business people. As far as they are concerned, it has always run, and will always run. The cost of modernising is so great, it is hard to justify it in terms that the business side will understand. Recruiting people to learn it is not easy, as most people do not want to learn something they regard as obsolete. There really is no solution to this problem. A few companies will be really proactive, but those are ones that probably have replaced their legacy systems. Some others will pay incredible sums of money for the few people who have the skills. Most though will pay a consulting company to upgrade their legacy system, which will fail, and be done over and over and over again until it is half as good as the previous system. It will cost 2-8 times more than preventative measures, but it will be spread out over 5-10 or so years.

brian.kronberg
brian.kronberg

As someone in the late 30s I know that I am looking forward to the retirees. My manager is having them train me on all the legacy systems, document everything, and test me to make sure I can support those systems. In fact, I am so good now that I can replace that retiree. I believe my manager is talking to them today about it, something about "we know you were going to retire soon, but we don't need you anymore". The above is fictional, but it will happen. Too many companies will cut someone before retirement if they can. The cost of the "growing pains" is far less than the cost of the providing the pension plan promised to the former employee. I also see this too often, someone getting ready to retire offers up about 70% of the knowledge required to support legacy systems. They retire and then "consult" after retirement on the same systems they built. Often for 4 times the pay they earned previously.

zaferus
zaferus

Most companies will choose to keep their heads in the sand until the crisis is well underway, no matter how much warning anyone gives them. I worked for a company and gave them 8 months notice and they didn't hire anyone and have them in place until a week before I left. As a result they were E-mailing me for 3 months afterwards asking how to fix problems they had or caused. As with any crisis comes opportunity, for those who are in a position to walk in and "save" the short sited in crisis. Perhaps I should start brushing up on my VAX/VMS again...

kanton
kanton

Great article! And the issue is even more immediate. Think about when key people are sick, on vacation, leave, or are busy. You just installed a new system and the consultants are gone. You've just outsourced a system but how do you train the support folks so they will know what to do? For 20 years my company has worked in this field -- helping organizations reduce turnover costs and implement knowledge retention and transfer systems. So, believe me, I know how difficult it is to get management's ear! You have to make a business case. And hopefully your CIO understands business cases. We also find that starting on something small and something that has a more immediate link to economic consequences is effective. Use that to demonstrate success and ROI. Something like "baby boommer retirement" sounds long term and many managers today are VERY short-term focused. We've also found that using "documentation" as a lead-in is not effective. You need to start first with the value proposition. Second point, historically, traditional "documentation" methods and thinking do not work. That is part of why management does not value this. They don't see the dot connection to a personal benefit or economic benefit. All they see is that their high-priced knowledge workers spent a lot of time creating a big mess that sits on a shelf or props doors open. Most traditional methods are difficult, extremely labor intensive, and don't cause performance change. In order to make a difference, you have to think differently, look at new methods, measure value from specific performance results. The common mindset is "just get it done" or "its a technology issue". Wrong. You can also tie your business case to increased efficiency as well. Ex: one of my customers told me the other day that he was able to collapse a complicated 2-day data conversion process down to a 2 hour procedure that someone else could now do. Many firms have good intentions but they don't know how to do it right, so they don't get performance results, so the perceived value is low. I don't want to advertise my company on this forum, but if anyone wants to discuss some ideas or new approaches, feel free to contact me. Kathy Anton kanton@comprose.com

wdk
wdk

How about when their technology retires? One missed opportunity is almost purely a technical solution (we know how to do those, right?) I believe that "My Documents" and email files are rich sources of intelligence, but they are so unstructured, poorly organized and random that they are impossible to mine. Most companies either back up then scrub or most likely just scrub data from legacy PCs. If there was a standard, organized taxonomy for storing files (that is also easy to use and maintain) then there would be a target on each hard drive that could be offloaded and used after the person or PC was retired/terminated. This works for all employee types (sales=client data, IT=de facto documentation, etc.) I use a system called COTA (clients, output, teams, administration)developed by Cohesive Knowledge Solutions. I mention this system because it works for me, but it's the concept of harvesting institutional knowledge that sits off the knowledge management grid and being able to sort the wheat/chaff that is critical. Rather than wait for management to add staff, change process and save the world, we need to do what we can to solve the problem.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

enterprise content management. quite a few dift sub areas. email, web content, transactional data, documents, ... aiim.org has alog of info quite a few products. ibm's filenet p8 for example oracle has a product. many others

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

unfortunately that's all it is where I work. We are a small place and all the products are priced out of reach. We have looked at demos. Maybe one day.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

Filenet? reps are trying to sell us SMB package for 50 to 70k$ Dift modules do just about any of the ECM related functions.

wdk
wdk

While server shares are a step up from desktop chaos, it does little to enable a content management program. If there was a common template that would create a useful taxonomy for these files, then a new level of organization can be achieved. My files are stored in (C)ustomer, (O)utput, (T)eams, (A)dministration. These top level folders can be applied to almost any business. Each top level folder has a few rules to help triage where they go, and training is available to foster this. Ultimately, it doesn't make a difference what goes where as long as it is consistent. This enables the enterprise (individuals, sections, etc.) to always know where to store and find things. This system is working in a number of F1000 companies without a huge investment in resources. It is primarily implemented through training, not technology. This also has a number of complimentary advantages over search engines. In the name of full disclosure, I am affiliated with the founder of the company that invented this, Cohesive Knowledge Solutions. My role is chief mentor (I'm a retired Gartner analyst) I evangelize this method because it works and it's easy to implement.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Here we set up network shares by section for documents, spreadsheets, etc. When you open a program like Excel your default directory is in your section's shared area. That allows the section to organize their work for themselves. The My Documents folder is used for temporary and private storage. Of course the bosses documents needs to be more private.

wdk
wdk

This is a common problem. Knowledge management and ECM scale up to boil the ocean projects that are costly and resource intensive. How about if we just got mostly everybody to organize my documents consistently?

jackie40d
jackie40d

I work more than I did when I was working Doing support and such stuff PLUS building web sites and selling computers ( By the way sold some Linux Based Computers already . . People just were not ready for another M$ pile of BS and Patch Tuesday for ever )

gwcarter
gwcarter

I retired last month after a 45-year career in what is now called IT, following the outsourcing to India in May 2006 of the jobs worked by my group, six people in all. For the last 20 years I specialized in close applications support. On my last day of employment the company announced that they were taking the work back in-house due to users' dissatisfaction with the new support. The remainder of the group either moved on to other assignments or retired themselves. Now the company is feeling the sting, but the lost knowledge is unrecoverable, since we all have found more rewarding pusuits elsewhere. The point I am making is that management will just settle for the reduced quality and quantity of work because they will not admit to having made a short-sighted mistake. The prevalence of the "might makes right" attitude in American management will be the proximate cause of the decline the blogger anticipates. Unfortunately, there is no cure, because the people with the power to effect the needed change are the same people who are never wrong. We should all have seen this coming when management stopped regarding staff as people and started considering them as :human resources". Joyce Gioia and the Hermann Group have been preaching this gospel for years, but no one has listened. For me, the bad part is that the same sort of people who caused the problem are those people running the annuity companies that pay my pension. I wonder how long those checks will keep coming!

kovachevg
kovachevg

Yes, I heard it all before: how the baby boomers were going to retire and howmany new jobs would be available. Well, I wathed how they were "retiring" and there were fewer and fewer jobs. First of all, people tend to retire much later because money is never enough. Everything goes up and up. Second of all, the managers in those companies or public sector agencies are always under pressure to keep their budget low - so they do NOT hire new people or OUTSOURCE the jobs to another country or to a cobtractor that then outsources to another country. If you are a young professional, don't look for a job at a stinking old company that always tries to do things CheaperFasterBetterWithLess. That horse doesn't fly. It is an uphill battle and such companies should be allowed to die gracefully. Someone here mentioned the US will be turned into a 2nd rate nation financed with Chinese bonds. Well, if the war agenda continues to plague our government, you bet.

timoshenko
timoshenko

I work in the public sector in the UK and started out on IBM mainframes, then VMS clusters, UNIX systems then Windows networks and after 30 years I gave 16 months notice to my employer that I intended to take retirement. That retirement is effective in 3 months. Despite my attempts to get this recognized, my employer has made no effort to plan a handover, the net result of my advance notice of retirement was to be treated as if I had already gone. On the plus side, I can use my experience as a freelance consultant...

ITEngineerGuy
ITEngineerGuy

How about simple training? Hire technology people that can learn from the experts. That simple. Of course talk with the current staff first so they will go along with the plan.

certellusllc
certellusllc

Training provides core principals, what we are really needing is capability development through experience & illustration of appropriate conduct (under a variety of different situations). What we are seeing is very single threaded CIO/CTOs. Another person wrote about the pressure on earnings, market share, Wall Street etc. as causing chaos. The fact is these are the reason why we are in business, the technology and other factors are the enablers to stay viable (given those factors). Innovation is the key to investment whether pre-IPO or already in the market. Without innovation and a vision, investors do no invest.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

How about a bunch of H1-B workers emigrating to the US to fill the jobs? H1-B advocates will have a field day, as this will support their assertion there are not enuf people in US to fill the jobs. How about global companies moving their operations overseas? woops, they are already doing this. IBM for example can now be looked at as an international company with some operations in the US as there are more employees overseas. Small biz of course can't move HQ overseas since they typically don't have any offshore presence. Most companies won't do anything till they're forced to. Which will re-inforce the above trends. The US will become a 2nd rate nation, very heavily in debt and unable to balance its books thru excess spending on entitlement programs (welfare) and military spending. All financed by the Chinese buying treasury bonds. And with a bunch of workers who can't pay their credit card bills, car payments, and have bought houses way in excess of what they can afford. ANd with a NEGATIVE savings rate (Chinese save 30% of their income on alot less money to begin with) We are doing to ourselves what Osama wants to happen. We don't need no stinkin' Osama to comit economic Hari-Kari!

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

You are correct on all points. The US is being taken advantage of, the problem being that we are letting them do it. Big business does not care what happens to their employees, the cheaper the labor the better. By throwing money at lobbyists in DC, they can influence foreign trade ( aka "free trade" ) policy to create $1 trillion/year trade deficits, "open borders" for a steady supply of slave labor, etc. The US population is become more aware and resentful of what has been going on for more than 30 years. Don't expect it to stop overnight, but do expect renegotiations, more secure borders, and more attention to the long-neglected areas of Health Care and Education.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

derived from the term Hara or spiritual center and Giri meaning cut. I have no responses to your other comments. They seem to be based more in hating others than potential solutions.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

>free market economy is based on competition. Actually, its based on the assumption that the partners will export products/services that each one does more efficiently to and imports those that the other does more efficiently, to the mutual benefit of both. The catch here is that each must be benefitting from each others products. So, if one country permits foreign employees, then the other must also, however, the employees should be from different fields. Unfortunately, the US has consistently enters into one-way deals, where it accepts the "imports", but is not allowed to export. An example of a successful deal is where you build a factory in a foreign country, and sell the products TO that country. You get foreign market access, and they get employment, products, and knowledge. An example of where it fails is China, where a US company sets up production there. They get the knowledge, training, and access to the US market, and the US gets nothing but cheap labor. In addition, it causes 'brain drain' in the US, enforces dependency on foreign products ( remember the oil embargo? how about a clothing, food, or other embargo against the US? ), plus local employees lose jobs, wages get depressed, etc.

Azim Premji
Azim Premji

The number of H1 B visas issued to IT workers is about 50,000 (out of 65,000) each year every year about 195,000 jobs in the IT sector open up - 50% of these jobs are not filled. The problem is 2 fold - 1. lack of skilled personnel 2. lack of company based training/re-training programs Maybe the numbers dont tell the real tale - it appears that americans do NOT need to compete with H1 B visa holders, they need to compete with everyone - free market economy is based on competition. An H1 B visa applicant has to go through a 20 point process to get the states, americans do not have to - they are at a distinct advantage. the reasons why H1 B workers are preferrd is because they are willing to work anywhere in the states, where as most americans do not enjoy the prospect of shifting homes. a company hasto go to labour court and pay almost 3,500 USD in fees to get an applicants H1 B processed and EVEN then the applicant is not guaranteed a visa. why would an american company, with american interests hire this applicant? it could be because: 1. the applicant is qualified thats it - thats the only point If h1 b workers were not qualified, companies that hire tem should not be in business

Benevolence
Benevolence

Its pronunciation is actually more like... Harae jkar?. Offshore solutions make a lot of sense I think, it saves big dollars, and that serves companies well. I am also pro widespread migration to unify and develop multiculturalism across the world.

Tig2
Tig2

The door on H1B slammed the day it was opened. Today I cannot get anyone who understands the requirements- they just say, "ya, ya sure, okay, fine." And we are left trying to fix the messes. Oh, and make sure that someone still understands the work left to be done. There are huge issues when we depend on outside parties- regardless of country of origin- to pick up where the "old timers" left off. I could innumerate the problems and the origins of those problems. But I have done so and I am sick of trying to get people to "get it". The Doc doesn't hate anyone. He is just as tired as I am of watching good Americans being flushed because we have to compete in America. The H1B's don't always have to. Nor are they held to the same set of standards.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

I'm ticked at offshoring but realize it is inevitable. no law can protect us from people who can do exactly the same thing somewhere else for cheaper. and being ticked at economic trends is different from hating the people who take advantage of better paying jobs elsewhere. not their fault their country is not as developed. I do think they should clamp down on illegal aliens, but don't hate them for being here trying to better themselves. one: border crossers are generally sent right back and try the same day to recross sometimes. Recent program put them in jail for two weeks, increasing if they are caught again. This seriously discourages them as who wants to be without income for two weeks or more? LA also at one point started enforcing housing laws. This kept about a million or so immigrants out of the city. they either moved on to other cities or moved back to country they came from because they didn't want to pay more of their income for housing and wanted to be in unsafe crowded conditions such as sharing 10+ people to a room. Third, the main reason people dislike immigrants is that they take services and don't (always) pay taxes. I'd suggest that hospitals NOT be required to check for legal citizenship in order to treat someone BUT that in order to collect from the Feds for this treatment they would need proof that a citizen. This way, they could help someone desparately sick out if they wanted and not be forced to turn them in. The incentive would be for them to get paid, so they'd likely only help desparately sick people. Currently people actually cross the border to have babies as the baby is automatically a citizen, they get better care for free and they're more likely to be let stay here because 'my child is a citizen'. And I think they should probably restart the guest worker progs and prevent the 'slave labor' type agricultural camps that happen now in Fla tomato fields, etc.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

My bad; been in an off mood all day from a busy weekend and lack of sleep so the error is probably on my part in reading the comment too quickly when time was limited. The trigger was that most of your points where recently used in another articles comment threads but basically the person's whole argument was; "America's economy is taking because of offshoring and imigrants. They sneak in from mexico, steal american identification info and steal our jobs." Of course, this indavidual made the argument in a far more elaborate and bigatory manner. I think in this case, my sleep deprived brain saw the same slew of arguments and went off. Stating that offshoring was happening in a factual is different from what the other post was doing though it seems to have tainted your points temporarily.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

Where did you get that out of my post? What is hateful about my indicating that offshoring is happening and will continue to happen? It happens to be the truth. I don't particulary like it but I don't hate it and I certainly don't dislike and didn't make comments about the workers who get a good job in other countries from it. In the long run it is both inevitable and good for the world economy as the great equalizer. Ideally, you could take a job anywhere in the world, for salary reasonably close, and enjoy other culture and sights. There are quite a few talented Indians and others who I'm sure make excellant IT workers. In fact I'm not particulary worried that it will happen en-masse as the people in India who can do this are a small # and already employed doing this. Massive infrastructure and education problems abound in India, so they can't all become programmers. There are problems of course: for their own good, India needs more project managers (they can't build roads on time) and needs to move into industrial sector, not just information sector. Rampant corruption, incredibly bloated public sector and horrible roads for example will seriously hinder India's growth. And good IT people's salaries are now starting to get in the range of developed countries, so growth will slow, and companies will hire people in the Phillipines for example. China offshoring I'm a little worried, more due to the oppressive govt, likely they will use this to steal information technology, intellectual property, etc with workers pressured into this as china flexes its muscles.

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