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IT managers need rules to check ‘cultural gap’ in offshoring deals

JP Kamath

UK IT managers must develop a set of standards that foreign IT workers must adhere to when taking on offshored work if they are to enforce acceptable conduct, according to analyst Gartner.

Partha Iyengar, analyst at Gartner, said IT managers needed to bridge cultural gaps in what was acceptable conduct for foreign IT workers, such as not casually disclosing private data..

Iyengar cited a problem where one US company offshored its payroll system to India, where it is a cultural practice for workers to openly compare paychecks.

However, when one Indian IT worker disclosed the pay details of an American executive back to an American colleague, the IT manager came under fire for not setting employer/employee expectations.

"IT managers offshoring project work need to spend a month in their offshore location to understand working practices and to improve their cultural awareness of how foreign teams work," said Iyengar.

"Differences in what is acceptable conduct can lead to data being informally leaked and can put an offshore project at risk."

Iyengar said that business that offshored needed to draft a governance framework - a guideline of employee conduct - for foreign IT workers to abide by, but this could only be correctly done by being aware of how foreign teams worked from the start.

Gartner predicts that a "borderless state" will prevail within the information and communications technology industry by 2015, and that business will increasingly source their services from around the globe without regard to the country of origin or headquarters of the supplier.





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