First it was the Indians, now the Indonesians are trying to move Australian work offshore. The pitch in the letter I received last week from an Australian owned front company was simple – software development in Indonesia costs less and the quality just as good.

All it will take is one competitor to significantly reduce development costs to get others to take up the opportunity. They will have no choice.

Personally, I have no interest. My software company develops vertical market solutions for newsagents, hair salons, jewellers, bike retailers and gift shops. Moving development offshore would mean letting go of valuable intellectual capital invested in developers, designers and the rest of the team which creates and supports our software. While in a business sense it may be naive to hang on to such a cost structure, one has to hope that such knowledge reflects in a better solution.

While companies representing overseas programming shops can tout for business as much as they like I’d like to see some in-depth reporting of the impact on an already challenged Australian IT industry.

I wonder if companies using overseas outsourcing can claim the governments R&D tax break?

I also wonder how many of the Indonesian programmers were trained in Australian universities and given their work experience here using our country’s flexible student visas?