The roles and impacts of computers and communications technology Essay
The roles and impacts of computers and communications technology
What are the roles and impacts of computers and communications technology in the increase of trans-border economic activity?
I am specifically going to speak about foreign workers handling UK consumer calls and IT jobs in general, better known as offshoring or out-sourcing. Below I have tried to out-line some of the good and bad points about the subject
The advocates of offshoring describe it as having high potential; moving jobs to a low cost labour market will save money and provide a good source of employment for the local people. Also as developing countries become richer, they will also buy more from us and invest more in our economy. UK exports of goods and services to India alone are already worth around ï¿½2.5billion a year, securing thousands of UK jobs.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) believe that the UK also stands to gain from growing world prosperity and a bigger global market for British goods and services. Offshoring will allow Britain to remain competitive, ensuring that the UK economy continues to generate new and sustainable jobs and new business opportunities. There is also the opportunity to gain from global partnerships.
Offshoring can have a negative effect on the morale of remaining onshore staff; furthermore, the low wages offshore could put downward pressure on remaining workers’ wages. The company risks trade union and public criticism, which could affect customer loyalty and satisfaction. Overseas workers at call centres may be unable to help beyond their training script, so there could be a reduction in quality. There are a number of challenges the offshore workforce will face:
cultural differences may create difficulties in forming relationships, managing
remotely can be difficult and the service may require local knowledge, such as geography, or an understanding of British systems, i.e. NHS
My personal opinion
I am totally fed up with ending up in call centres in India. It makes the whole experience lengthy, stressful and frustrating. I hate not being able to speak normally, having to repeat and spell almost everything said and the whole experience is one I could do without. I already have changed a bank for this reason. It Is ridiculous. Why should people have to put up with it? It seems to me just a way to make companies have a healthier bottom line, also no executive wants to give up their perks!
As a student soon to be looking for work in the UK, I am fully in support of those who hold the view that companies that served mainly British customers should support jobs in Britain. They should be punished if they don’t, either by consumer boycotting or by government taxes or both. Since many corporations are copying each other due to corporate greed there is mass influx of unemployed highly skilled workers, without a place for them to go, it will only take so long of being unemployed for them to either move offshore themselves or move to another occupation.
I think offshoring has a large share of the blame for the job shortage here in Britain. It’s amazing to see how the definition of cheap labour has changed – at first the term was only associated with people working in terrible conditions for next to nothing. But now it extends to multinational companies and corporations moving skilled jobs abroad to save money, all at the expense of the British people.
Below is a couple of articles I found that I think compliment what I have written.
Bank customers’ fury at India call centres
12:41pm 18th October 2005
Staff at Lloyds TSB are facing high levels of customer dissatisfaction about the bank’s policy of transferring work to India, a union has claimed.
A survey of nearly 2,000 branch managers and staff found that 96 per cent of people thought customers weren’t happy dealing with staff in India, while 83 per cent thought customers received worst service as a result.
More than half of staff claimed they received complaints or adverse comments about the Indian operation every day, and a further third of people said they received them at least every week.
Nearly two-thirds of those questioned reported seeing significantly more errors and mistakes being made by the Indian operation, and 64 per cent said offshoring had made it more difficult to promote the bank’s products.
Around 85 per cent of staff thought the bank would lose many customers because of its decision to offshore work to India, while a similar proportion thought people would be likely to switch to financial services companies that were committed to the UK, according to the Lloyds TSB Group Union.
Lloyds ‘ignoring concerns’
But the union said Lloyds TSB was ignoring these concerns and continuing to transfer back office processing and telephone operations abroad. Steve Tatlow, assistant general secretary at Lloyds TSB Group Union, said: “The survey confirms what we have known all along. That staff dealing with customers day in and day out are having to deal with considerable customer hostility at having their accounts handled abroad. “The results show that whatever Lloyds TSB might say about the customer service provided by its India operation, hordes of customers are complaining across the UK each and every day of the week. “Senior Management will have to make a choice. Either to continue with cost cutting in the teeth of customer opposition to its offshoring plans, or else refocus its strategy towards putting customers first.”
A Lloyds TSB spokeswoman said: “Customer service is essential to us. The call centre in Mumbai has taken seven million calls over the past year and we do monitor the quality and look at customer satisfaction. “We have found that levels of customer satisfaction are as high on calls to India as to the UK.”
The Impact of Global Sourcing on the UK Economy 2003-10, commissioned by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), an umbrella organisation for IT software and service organisations in India, estimates that by 2010 the UK could face a shortfall of 700,000 jobs as a result of an aging population and slow population growth. If the problem isn’t addressed it reckons that economic growth in the UK could slow, leading to a loss of ï¿½113 billion.
Outsourcing would not only bridge that gap, it would also help generate extra income. For the report claims that for every ï¿½100 of work outsourced offshore, up to ï¿½141 is re-invested directly back into the UK economy. This upbeat assessment of the benefits of exporting jobs comes even though the report acknowledges that more than 250,000 UK jobs would be lost as a result of offshoring. But it argues that while the impact of offshoring on the UK workforce is “real” and “will lead to the displacement of workers”, it insists that the UK labour market is flexible enough to deal with the problem.
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