Outsourcing, Intergration and Cheapware

NWC Reader Robert Boos suggests, "To stop the outflow of jobs, we must legislate tax benefits for those who do not outsource their IT work."

January 30, 2004

3 Min Read
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Stem the Tide

I enjoyed reading Rob Preston's thoughtful and thought-provoking column on outsourcing ("Get Used to Offshore Outsourcing," Jan. 22, 2004). He said the key to countering the effects of offshore outsourcing is training. We must develop the skills necessary to enable Americans to compete with the comparatively low-paid workers in the "underdeveloped world."

That sounds good, but doesn't it depend on our ability to foresee IT developments? And, even if we could foresee those developments, who will be knowledgeable in the disciplines needed to support them? There won't be enough visionaries to train the cadre of Americans Preston said should be ready when new technologies emerge. Plus, if the training is in the wrong disciplines, it will be a great waste of money.

Preston also said, "it's impossible to erect walls around the U.S. labor force short of dismantling the global economy this country has helped build." I disagree: You can, through legislation, keep the work here. What will other countries do? Will they stop buying our products? Our unfavorable trade balance shows that we buy more from them than they buy from us. They need us more than we need them.

Short term, we must take steps to stop the outflow of jobs. We can do that by legislating tax benefits for those who do not outsource their clerical and IT work offshore. It will anger the rest of the world, but it's worth it to keep our people employed and to preserve our technological leadership.
Robert Boos
[email protected]

Guard the Bridge
I have to disagree with a statement Mike Fratto made in the Survivor's Guide article on security (Dec. 16, 2003). He said an e-mail server behind a firewall must have antivirus software to protect internal users from one another.

My organization runs a Network Associates' McAfee WebShield e250 Antivirus appliance in bridge mode between our network and our e-mail server, which runs Novell GroupWise. Because the appliance has two interfaces, and all traffic--internal and external--must go through it to reach a user, all e-mail is scanned by the appliance before being delivered. There are products that perform antivirus scanning on a GroupWise server, but we found them lacking in installation ease or in comprehensiveness/timeliness in regard to signature databases. We also ban mail with executable code.
Kurt Oestreich; Network Engineer
Benton Public Utility District

[email protected]

Mike Fratto replies: Kurt, you're right. I was referring to virus scanning at the network perimeter. Having a bridge-mode scanner in front of your e-mail server is an alternative.

High on Intergration
I was glad to see an article on the excellent Stoneware portal ("Safe Web Passage," Dec. 9, 2003), which we have been using for several years. We chose it due to its high directory integration (edirectory) and are eager to upgrade to version 4 for the VPNish features.

John Carter, Senior Network Systems Programmer
Indiana Purdue University
[email protected]

Violators All?

In "The Cheapskate's Guide to IT Tools" (Dec. 9, 2003), you said using VNC on Microsoft servers is a violation of its EULA (End User License Agreement). Why? I'm sure I'm not alone in using VNC on Microsoft servers.
Fred Chastang, RSM System Engineer
[email protected]

Lori MacVittie replies: A Microsoft EULA addendum states any tool used to remotely control a WinXP machine that is not from Microsoft or commercially available is in violation of the license agreement.

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