It is not just in the tea leaves

Microsoft recently announced that it is investing $1.7 billion in India’s technology infrastructure and development capabilities (meaning in the smart people over there – not exactly a scarce resource either).

It isn’t Microsoft’s first investment in India, but it comes at an interesting time for the company. They have been prodded for years on their monopolistic status in the tech community – and despite reaching a settlement on many of those issues with the US, the littany of foriegn countries slapping them in the face still hasn’t stopped. Many of the talented folks from Redmond have moved on to bigger and better things not just from the lower levels. The open source community rolls out viable options to their products on a minute by minute basis. Microsoft needs fresh competitive advantages.

They have a clue, others have the same, and the concept is already moving beyond pure tech.

No sooner had Microsoft made the announcement, another came along. MS’s archrival in the operating systems space, Red Hat, said they were plowing some money into India as well. While the amount paled in comparison, Red Hat’s needs probably do too. Unlike Microsoft’s proprietary everything, Red Hat has the luxury of leveraging off the open source community’s efforts.

You are saying “I don’t write code or answer phones for a living, so I don’t need to adjust to this trend,” and you are dead wrong. Everyone except checkout clerks at the grocery store and servers at the local restaurant need to be thinking about this (and maybe the aforementioned do too). Professional jobs in fields like medical data review, accounting, legal and others have already entered the outsourcing stream – I believe the tip of the iceberg hasn’t even poked out yet.

Everyone should start looking at the tea leaves (and reading The World Is Flat wouldn’t hurt either). Adapation to change will ensure survival, but becoming an agent of that change will ensure one flourishes. I think Bill Gates is the kind of guy who likes to flourish.

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