As recently as a year-and-a-half ago, some analysts were expressing surprise at the continued growth of offshoring, which they called "quite astounding." At that time, IDC said it expected the offshore market to experience annual growth rates of 15 percent for the foreseeable future.
Forecasts like that, combined with numerous stories about companies with offshore initiatives and concerns over the possible loss of U.S. jobs to offshoring, lent an air of "everybody's doing it" to the practice.
Problem is, that's apparently an erroneous impression.
Back in May, a study from economist Jacob Funk Kirkegaard showed that just 4 percent of so-called "mass layoffs" in America could be attributed to offshoring.
And now Robert Half Technology says that a majority of U.S. companies it surveyed do not send IT work offshore, nor do they have plans to do so. According to a CIOUpdate story about the survey, 94 percent of CIOs do not engage in offshoring.
Large enterprises were far more likely than their smaller counterparts to offshore jobs, with 11 percent of CIOs of companies with more than 500 employees saying they do so. Not a surprise, says Robert Half Technology Executive Director Katherine Lee, as big companies are typically "better positioned to absorb the costs of both initial setup and ongoing oversight, and to benefit from economies of scale" associated with offshoring.
Many of the companies did seem satisfied with their offshore initiatives. Forty-three percent of CIOs whose companies are involved in offshoring plan to expand the practice over the next two years, the survey found, vs. just 13 percent who said they would reduce their offshoring efforts.
Of the companies that had engaged in offshoring but ended the practice, the biggest problem was excessive management and oversight requirements, cited by 59 percent of respondents. Other problems: unrealized cost savings and quality control, mentioned by 30 percent and 23 percent of respondents, respectively.