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IBM Businesses The Almighty Buck

In a Symbolic Shift, IBM's India Workforce Likely Exceeds That In US 491

Posted by timothy
from the rising-tide-lifting-boats dept.
dcblogs writes "IBM has 112,000 employees in India, up from 6,000 in 2002, with an average wage of about $17,000, according to an internal company document. That wage level may seem shockingly low to U.S. IT workers, but it is in alignment with IT wages in India.The Everest Group said the annual wages generally in India for a software engineer range from $8,000 to $10,000; for a senior software engineer, $12,000 to $15,000, and between $18,000 and $20,000 for a team lead. A project manager may make as much as $31,000. IBM employs about 430,000 globally. According to the Alliance at IBM, the U.S. staff is at about 92,000. It was at 121,000 at the end of 2007, and more in previous years. It has been widely expected over the past year or two that IBM's India workforce was on track to exceed its U.S. workforce, if it hadn't exceeded it already."
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In a Symbolic Shift, IBM's India Workforce Likely Exceeds That In US

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @12:07PM (#42130537)

    Then watch IBM move to China to get ore cheap labor! American workers need to stop feeling so entitled to large wages and outrageous benefits. Then feel entitled to cheap products and services. Any company can't pay out money to employees in tons, then sell products cheaply and expect to succeed and make profit. Only when Americans change will they actually be able to find jobs.

  • Re:News flash, US (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @12:10PM (#42130591)

    You must be pretty poor if you think $80K/year is good money in most/any American city.

  • by slim (1652) <john@hartn u p .net> on Thursday November 29, 2012 @12:33PM (#42130897) Homepage

    The I always stood for "international".

    When I worked for IBM UK, I collaborated with colleagues in the USA, Canada, Japan, India, mainland Europe...

  • QOS shift? (Score:4, Informative)

    by AuralityKev (1356747) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @12:41PM (#42131001)
    I'd love to see an objective measurement of IBM's quality of service from 2002 to now, mapped against the shift to a majorly offshore work model. I work for a subsidy of a very large consulting competitor of IBM's, and are witnessing the same phenomenon - more and more offshore workers tacked on to project teams that just drag everything down. The more offshore we're shackled with (and I really mean that - we're given no choice by service line leadership) the worse we are able to deliver on our projects. The biggest issue for me is that once we've been able to identify the offshore rockstars - the fabled guys you can actually work well with, trust, and receive good quality work product from, they either get instapromoted to management or realize they can get more than just the 17k/year salary or whatever it is they're getting and GTFO. Either way you don't get to work with them for long. Then you get whoever's free in the pool when you're building a project team - no calling "dibs" on the right guys for the job. Quite often you just get a warm body who isn't familiar with the tech you're working with, the processes of project delivery, or will refuse to perform any work unless you have mapped it out to the click.
  • Re:17k/yr (Score:4, Informative)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @12:51PM (#42131149)

    That's barely above Wal Mart or Mcdonalds.

    Except that a rupee buys five times as much in India as the exchange rate suggests. So it is more like making $85k. Manufactured products tend to cost the same in either country, but labor-intensive goods can be ten times cheaper or even more. It is common for an Indian to ride a bicycle, because they cannot afford a car, but they can still afford to pay a household servant to clean/cook/babysit.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @12:52PM (#42131169) Journal

    By decree, we are ordered to use outsourced programming. Our core competencies are seen by our company as industry specific and coding talent is seen as general talent, like a secretary. So we end up outsourcing a lot to a firm in India.

    And what we got was crap. Now the fault is not entirely theirs. But in speaking in areas where they are at fault... The code is crap. I am in charge of audting the code we get back from them and it is mind boggling bad. To understand this more, I inquired to what schooling the "engineers" had gone through. It was about trade-school level, above high school but AA degree at most, which is not sufficient given the liabilities in our industry. Still 5 coders for the price of one domestically should still have some benefit? Well a lot of that got eaten away by the QA procedures that had to be put in place. Now the code we get is tolerable, and the Indian business is on track to (if they take additional clients) become an actual Indian Business Machines. Still there are enormous challenges. After going through all the effort we did to get usable code form the relationship, I'd rather have just hired a couple domestic coders. But we would not have the QA team that they now do. True, we would not have needed it, but now that it exists it is reusable. I am not allowed to see how much internal strife there is, I only get to see what their approved output (after QA) is so I don't know how much churn there is. What I do know is 5 $20k Indians still do not equal one $100k domestic engineer.

    Unless your company can weather a rocky start of a relationship like this (who can these days, especially when things are outsourced to be done faster) I don't recommend outsourcing. We still won't let them in our core code base because we need expert code, but they are free to write extensions to the core.

  • Re:What happems (Score:4, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @01:06PM (#42131377)

    What is really funny is back when we had very high taxes on top earners we saw real wages of the average person increasing. At the same time we were getting all that regulation you detest and we were actually ending a period of spending that makes today look like a joke.

  • Re:What happems (Score:4, Informative)

    by houghi (78078) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @03:32PM (#42133521)

    What I get from postings is that there is a difference between a unionized and non-unionized companies and also that you can not choose your union in the US.

    I live in Belgium and if the company has 50 people or more, there must be elections to have a union rep. Where I work we have less. I am member of a union. I have no idea who is or isn't and neither does my boss or HR department, nor do they care.

    I can choose which union I go to or not be in the union anymore. The same laws will apply. The same rules will apply. Irregardless if I am in a union or not.

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