Downtime and UK Outsourcing

Friday, March 26th, 2004 at 1808

My hosts, Valuehost were allegedly hit by a Denial of Service attack today, bringing all their hosted sites to their knees. Including this one.
Apologies for the interruption of service, though really they’re the ones who need to say sorry. They boast 99.9% uptime which, if you do a rough calculation, means they expect to be offline for just under 9 hours in every 8,760 (That’s 365 days, for those of you out there who do not see in nubmers.)
They were out for about 9 hours today, so I’m now looking forward to 364 days of uninterrupted service… Hah! :(

News in from the BBC today to make me angry, right here.

I dislike Stoke-on-Trent. Peter Kay said something about another town that applies here. “It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there”. So true.
Anyway, back to the point. Doulton are outsourcing to Asia. Hands up anyone who’s surprised by this? No takers? Ok, now I’m not dissing Asian craftsmen, no no. Every country has its craftsmen and they’re all far more talented than I could ever hope to be. The thing that gets me is that in the “1st world”, you can’t afford to be a craftsman anymore, as this article so flawlessly proves. These days, you have to work a “normal” job to pay your rent, and companies who traditionally produced goods using skilled workers are buggering off overseas where there’s as much skill, but lower overheads.

This annoys me. Why? Because I don’t want to have to move to India. Or Taiwan. They’re too hot.

Thing is, I may well be forced to at some point. Overheads in the UK are absurd when you compare them to average incomes. If I did what I am doing now (Freelance work acquired via the internet) I could live in Thailand in my own home and eat out every night. As it actually happens, I have to watch what I eat and can’t go out because what I manage to earn goes 100% into my rent. The UK is outpricing itself and business owners aren’t helping by laying off workers who are already too poor to afford their own homes. What can be done? I don’t know, I’m not an economist. As an uneducated observer I’d say that the rich-poor divide has become so vast that it’s actually going to consume both halves, but that’s just opinion and everyone knows they don’t have to be based in fact. As the world shrinks, and more and more people are able to employ workers in countries whose overheads are better in line with the balance sheet of the 1st world company, what will happen to 1st world workers? Being one, I’d really like to know. There is simply no way I can compete with an Indian/Thai/Chinese graphic designer. The work will be of the same quality, the deadlines the same, but the overheads wildly different. If my product is already as good as it can get, there is no room for maneuver. I can’t cut my prices as then I’m operating at a loss and will starve. I can’t reduce my time-to-market, because I already work as fast as I can. There simply are no options short of moving to one of these eastern countries and working from there.

So who’s left living in Britain? If we entertain this flight of fancy for a moment, only the fat cat business owners and the hopeless dole-suckers will be left. I think more of myself than to depend on government handouts, but I am too poor to act the fat cat. Will the UK become a nation occupied by the super-rich and the mega-poor?

Again, this is just rambling opinion, but hey, the internet’s for sharing that.

One Comment for “Downtime and UK Outsourcing”

  1. Zoomer Said this on

    btw there are 366 days this year :P.

    I might be able to give ya a good deal on hosting, if ya can eamil me what you need.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>