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February 13, 2007

Join the AD Forum on Offshoring IT

The conference series ENASE (Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering)  attracted my attention. Its objective is to evaluate the claims made by new approaches to and schools of thought on software development, such as such as agile software development, aspect-oriented software development, component software, service-oriented architectures, evolutionary design, intentional software, and example centric programming. The conference series, in essence, provides a platform to ascertain whether their claim of novelty of these approaches is legitimate or just a new hype.

A special feature of the ENASE conferences is Advocatus Diaboli Forum (ADF)

The ADF is “directly inspired by an ancient, now discarded, mechanism within the Catholic Church whereby a so-called "Devil's Advocate" (AD) would assemble a prosecution case against candidates for canonization to sainthood. The AD was not required to necessarily believe the prosecution case they prepared, but was required to list every possible reason to reject the candidate's elevation. Proponents for canonization would then mount a defense, addressing each of the points raised by the AD. Likewise, in the ENASE AD Forum sessions, novel approaches to software engineering are tried in the Forum 'court' (Ref: CFP, Requirements Engineering Special Issue).”

I believe it would be both helpful and interesting to open an ADF forum on IT Offshoring.

You, as an "Devil's Advocate" (AD), may assemble prosecution case against one or more key issues or concerns on IT offshoring, or against various aspects of Offshored IT projects, on which the bloggers, collectively, can mount a defense, addressing each of the points raised by the AD. 

Your prosecution case, please!

 By Professor San Murugesan, Australia

February 3, 2007

Globalization and Offshoring of R & D .. further notes

A recent Hindustan Times headline proclaimed how "India centre engineers played key role, filed 40 patents for Vista" The article said:
While Bill Gates and his global team celebrated the launch of Microsoft Corp's much awaited Vista operating system in the Times Square and elsewhere in the world, the city of Charminar had its own reasons to exult.
Some 330 engineers in Microsoft's India Development Centre at Hyderabad engineered some of the most important features of the software — and filed 40 patents to prove that. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer had during his visit to India in November taken time off to party with the engineers based in the Hi-Tec City complex. Five years ago,when Windows had launched Windows XP with 40 people involved from Hyderabad, it was a case of developing individual technologies in parts (for e.g. Internet Explorer) in India and integrating them with the global team from Redmond.

Well, articles like this just reinforce the point I was trying to make in my earlier blog  on how large organizations are globalizing research and development, leveraging skills and talent cutting across ‘time and space’ boundaries.

On a similar note, the recent Computerworld article on how ‘Microsoft, Infosys team on software engineering research’ makes a similar point:
“Infosys and Microsoft Research Lab India have already identified some areas for their joint research. The companies will, for example, work on tools and methodologies related to systems integration, said Sriram K. Rajamani, research manager at Microsoft Research Lab India, who heads the RSE group. Another area identified for research is tools to measure the performance of enterprise software even before it is built, he added.”  

If Microsoft goes global, you can bet Google is there too. A blogger observes how "Google has opened 30 R&D Centers in 3 Years(Wow!!!) which span across Europe, Russia, Eatern Europe, Israel, US, Canada, Australia, India, Japan and China"

Of course, not everyone sees the writing on the wall.  James McGovern, blogs about the Chinese angle, while Sharad Sharma is a more vocal in lamenting about how India shoring of R&D is going through a “trough of disillusionment” 

In my mind, the "India vs. China" arguments is moot since global business leaders care more about results ("what" and "how") and less about the location ("where"). The debate should be about the merits of offshoring R&D. The way I look at it, Globalization of R&D is enabling software and services companies to provide better solutions at a lower cost in the least time to market, leveraging a global skill pool.  Now, isn’t this at the heart of offshoring too?  Why get constrained by time-and-space boundaries, When ideation can happen anytime, anywhere?  

Given my past association with Infosys’ research collaboration with Microsoft [at SETLabs], you will continue to hear more on my two cents on this topic.

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