Friday, October 8, 2004

James Bond Explores the Subcontinent: Reuters Increases Back-Office Operations in India

As Reuters announces the shifting of its core data gathering and analysis operations to its Bangalore, India offices it's worth thinking wistfully for a moment about facilities such as its Docklands data centre in the shadows of major financial institutions at London's Canary Wharf district. It gleams like an ersatz techno-styled lair for an archvillain from a James Bond movie, complete with louvers on outside windows that close when visitors are allowed to peek at the central operations control room. Neat stuff in a key location - and god-awfully expensive. Docklands is the visual image of needing to reduce costs, yet many of the core data being moved to Bangalore will be sourced from far less exotic locations around the world to Bangalore. Creating intellectual capital is shifting from second-tier talent in first-tier labor markets to first-tier talent in second-tier labor markets. Offshoring may help the bottom line equation of Reuters and other publishers in the short term, but the true payoff will be to the top line as the intellectual capabilities of offshore resources begin to create more unique content value. Reuters gets this in a big way, which is unfortunate for those data staffs who must pay the price, but in the long run necessary for many major database generators to create the best value proposition.
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