The Outsourcing Forecast: Becoming cloudy

For the past 20 years, outsourcing has reshaped the world's economy.  Most manufacturing operations have shifted to developing countries, while technology service providers have thrived in countries such as India that have well-educated workforces but lower labor costs than in North America and western Europe.

In an article entitled The End of Outsourcing (As We Know It), Arjun Sethi and Olivier Aries argue that "cloud computing" will completely change the way technology services are delivered during the coming decade.

Already, Google and Amazon have shown that they will be key players in this emerging market.  It remains to be seen how consulting firms such as Accenture and software providers such as Microsoft will respond to the rapidly-evolving industry.  Smaller companies that do much of today's technology outsourcing work may find themselves struggling to compete, or acquired by larger global technology service providers.

Local software entrepreneur (and University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees member) Ann Winblad explains the implications of cloud computing in this video from

What do you think about Aries and Sethi's predictions?  Have you seen a shift toward "cloud computing" at your company?