Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 21st year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2016 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Now that's outsourcing!

17 January 2013

Over the decades, I've done an awful lot of teleworking. In fact, most of my life has been spent working at home for an employer or client who is tens or thousands of KM away.

It's a great setup -- the employer/client saves money because they don't have the overheads associated with providing resources needed for on-site staff -- and I save money because there's no daily commute or need to buy more "good" clothes on a regular basis.

So this setup boosts profits and saves the planet - what could possibly go wrong?

Well I had to smile (almost laugh) when I read this story on the BBC website today.

Now that's an entrepreneur and an opportunist!

Unfortunately, it's also grossly dishonest.

However, when you think about it, it's a clever way to make a lot of money...

Charge your time out at the prevailing rate for contract teleworking -- then hand the work onto some other worker in a low-wage country.

This leaves you with plenty of free time *and* a pretty nice income.

Given that your only role in such an arrangement would be to liaise with the client/employer on occasion and to also liaise with your "subcontractors" you could even hold down several jobs at once, for even more money!

When you think about it, this is the way many software companies already operate - they accept an hourly rate to perform a job and have employees who actually do the work - so what's wrong with actions of the guy in the story?

Well obviously it's fraudulent for a start. The guy's employer thought he was hiring the guy doing the outsourcing, not some unknown and unvetted Chinese programmer. It seems that in this case there were security issues associated with the job so goodness knows how much of the employer's sensitive data could now be floating around under a red flag.

Unless all code submitted by the Chinese programmer was subjected to line-by-line peer review there are also no guarantees that there aren't some unpleasant "surprises" waiting to be triggered some time down the line.

Unfortunately for the rest of the teleworking world, this guy has probably soured some prospective employers or clients to the prospect of employing remote workers - and that's a bad thing. Goodness knows it's often hard enough convincing people that teleworking is a viable way to have work done - now it's just got harder.

And I wonder just how many other supposed teleworkers are actually spending their days on YouTube, Facebook and porn sites while, unknown to their employers, the work is actually being done by someone in India or China? Is this just the tip of an iceberg perhaps?

Have any of those in the contract/teleworking business heard of others engaging in this type of unofficial subcontracting before?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say on this...

PERMALINK to this column

Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Recent Columns

Howdy space neighbour
It seems we have found a potentially habitable planet orbiting a very (in space terms) nearby star and that's got scientists buzzing...

What are they smoking?
School's out for ever! ...

A driverless future
To be honest, I'm getting a bit sick and tired of hearing about how we'll all be the owners of self-driving cars within a few short years...

Over-farming kills Kiwis?
For decades now, the beautiful New Zealand countryside has increasingly been meticulously stripped of its native bush or exotic forests and repurposed to make milk...

USA loses control of the internet
In just a couple of months, the USA loses its position as "God" of the internet...

Intel enters the drone market
An unlikely player has announced its entry into the rapidly growing drone market: Intel...

Democracy up in smoke
Yesterday I wrote about the paranoia that overtakes governments which know they're not adequately representing their employers...

The NZ government is running scared?
Each time I read that the government has extended its powers over the people it is elected to serve, I wonder where this slow decline into an Orwellian future will lead...

Who is the bigger criminal?
The US government has prevailed in its attempts to perform a civil forfeiture on Kim Dotcom's assets...

Hows the 4G broadband going?
Well I've had 4G broadband in the workshop now for a couple of weeks and so I figured it was time to let folk know how it's been going...

Schadenfreude rulez
SkyTV is in the news and, once again, it's all about monopoly rights...