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Data Center Jobs: Safe for Now?

"Offshore" and "outsource" are words that strike fear into the hearts of North American IT managers. The big question is: How far it will go?

Recent research from analyst firm Frost & Sullivan declares offshoring is on the rise. Frost says IT job exports rose by a compound annual growth rate of 5.9 percent between 2002 and 2004.

That leads to another looming question -- whether this trend could escalate and end with entire data centers following the technical support help desks overseas. Until now, most IT outsourcing has been limited to programming work and customer support. Among IT managers, the jury is still out on whether we will see entire data center operations shifted from Indiana to India.

Nonetheless, Ken Ebbe, an IT manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is not discounting this possibility: If it’s cheaper to run data centers overseas then people will certainly be looking at it." But, he adds, “I think that it’s too early to tell whether we should be concerned."

One IT executive from the financial community, asking not to be named, told NDCF that, although certain data center tasks, such as remotely configuring routers, could be done offshore, wholesale outsourcing of the data centers is unlikely.

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