The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 January 2005

Give us your tired, your poor, your outsourced

CIBER Incorporated, a Colorado-based "application development center," has come to Oklahoma City, which means that some of the IT work you might have thought was going to Bangalore is coming here instead.

Why Oklahoma City? Says CIBER president/CEO Mac Slingerlend:

There are many American labor markets outside the traditional technology centers that have skilled but underutilized IT workers who can get IT projects done faster and cheaper.

And give Slingerlend credit for quoting David Ricardo's Theory of Competitive Advantage in the news release. CIBER is counting on the presence of a low-priced yet high-quality labor force out here on the Lone Prairie, as CIBERsites head Tim Boehm explains:

Though CIBERsite employees will be paid less than the national average, they will still earn more than their overseas counterparts. And, our CIBERsites clients will have another choice in avoiding the hidden costs of offshoring, such as language gaps, intellectual property protection, travel, time schedules, infrastructure vulnerability, political risks and increasingly high employee turnover.

About 200 underutilized IT professionals will be put to work at the Oklahoma City CIBERsite. I'm willing to bet they'll be happy to have the opportunity, even working for "less than the national average": hell, everyone here (except maybe the state legislature) makes less than the national average. The only thing that really bugs me is CIBER's corporate self-description:

CIBER, Inc. (NYSE: CBR) is a pure-play international system integration consultancy with superior value-priced services for both private and government sector clients.

A what? Now that's a "language gap."

Posted at 7:08 AM to City Scene