Could IBM's prediction of reverse IT offshoring be coming true?

Can it be true that overseas companies, including those in India, are demanding UK IT workers in increasing numbers?


Back in October I wrote a tongue-in-cheek blog post about why UK IT workers should not be worried about having their jobs offshored to developing nations because these economies will eventually employ  UK people. The post was in reaction to a study carried out by IBM, itself a serial offshorer of work to India particularly.


This is what IBM said: “The silver lining of globalization is that shift toward expansion will require companies to redirect their work force to locations that provide the greatest opportunities, not just the lowest costs, and at the same time re-imagine their management strategies to reflect an increasingly dynamic workforce.”


And according to an online marketplace that matches up freelancers with jobs, known as PeoplePerHour, this could be coming true. 


In the last three months PeoplePerHour has recorded  the busiest quarter it has ever seen in terms of overseas businesses wanting UK IT freelancers.


And the company says that as a result of job shortages in the UK, (partly due to the mass offshoring of IT work by corporates), many IT workers are going freelance.


According to PeoplePerHour in the last three months compared to the previous quarter there was a 771% increase in demand for UK IT freelancers in India and a 250% from Brazil. Meanwhile demand for these UK workers in the US went up 714%. I don’t have any numbers so the percentages might be related to very small numbers.


“There was a time when hiring freelancers to deliver digital work online was universally perceived as western businesses outsourcing to inexpensive offshore labour – particularly from the subcontinent or Eastern Europe,” says Thrasyvoulou. “However, we’re seeing the reverse happening more frequently than ever before. It’s partly due to the economic strength and growing confidence of the BRIC nations, but it’s also influenced by the positive reputation of British digital skills internationally. This is evidenced by the rise in demand for UK talent from mature markets also – most notably the US.”



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