likely that companies will reshore operations, he says.
Language barriers, time-zone differences, cultural mix-ups, unfamiliar
laws and regulations, and infrastructure issues can make it challenging to
get the job done efciently overseas.
Moreover, workers’ physical security in
places where there is social and political unrest is also important to consider.
Cybersecurity is yet another risk.
A 2016 University of Maryland study
ranked 44 countries based on their
vulnerability to cyberattacks. China
and India were among the most susceptible nations. The U.S. was rated
the 11th safest country in the world.
(Denmark, Norway and Finland were
the most secure.)
“Security is a bigger and bigger concern. You hear about one kind of disastrous security breach after another,”
says Shaneck, who is based in Dallas.
It’s especially a problem for companies
that contract out their IT work overseas. “You’re not as sure [protocol] is
being complied with as when you own
it. Are your data, intellectual property
and even trade secrets secure?” he says.
HR professionals have particular
reason to be concerned about privacy
breaches because of the personal na-
ture of the information they collect,
says Carol Olsby, SHRM-SCP, who
runs Carol Olsby & Associates Inc.,
an HR consultancy in Seattle.
In the end, “to be global is not as easy
as you think,” she says. “A lot of companies say, ‘We want access to talent,
so we’re going to this country.’ But they
don’t understand the landscape, they
don’t understand how to monetize the
situation. Home is easier to manage,”
Once company leaders decide to
bring jobs back to the U. S., HR professionals play a key role in helping
to choose where to relocate and fnd
qualifed IT workers—no easy feat
these days—while keeping the talent
You may need “to be a bit aggressive in going in and making the
business case on why you need to
be involved” in the reshoring process, says Brad Boyson, SHRM-SCP,
executive director of regional operations in SHRM’s Middle East and
North Africa ofce.
“You have to get your hands dirty.
Earn the credibility of the organiza-
tion. There’s nothing unique about IT,
but you do have to know IT,” Boyson
says. “And you need to be the champion
of the change. You have to give people
confdence that the change is going to
happen and that you believe in it.”
There’s no reason the reshoring pro-
cess can’t be handled smoothly—and it
must be to ensure that business oper-
ations continue. “You have to under-
stand the timeline,” Olsby advises.
IT services can continue for a while
in both locations to smooth the transi-
tion and avoid downtime, Boyson sug-
gests. “And make sure you do small-
scale testing. The beauty of IT is that
you can plan many layers of redun-
dancy so it’s a seamless process.”
For an efective transition, avoid sud-
den operational changes. “The worst
thing you can do is just fip the switch,”
Larkin says. You don’t want someone
to call the same 800 number one day
as the day before and get a completely
diference experience, he says
Efective knowledge transfer is crit-
Even though countries other than the U.S. tend to be more
vulnerable to cyberattacks, there’s an urgent need for companies
that reshore their IT operations to protect against growing
4,149 47.5% 2. 9
occurred in 2016,
including four of the
largest breaches ever.
of the announced
data breaches in
2016 that exposed
user data came from
the United States.
billion user records
were lost by U.S.
Source: Risk Based Security.