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Communications of the ACM

The business of software

Vendor: Vidi, Vici

Vendor: Vidi, Vici, illustration

Credit: Alicia Kubista / Andrij Borys Associates

Outsourcing is common in the computing world these days. It is said to save costs, eliminate the need for additional in-house employees, and provide adaptable staffing levels that can flex with the ups and downs of business cycles. But there are costs and dangers to outsourcing and companies can leave themselves open to business practices that can be quite predatory.

Most vendors view the growth and protection of their revenue stream to be the most important thing. Even when they do behave ethically, this can cause conflicts of interest between what is best for the vendor, what is best for the vendor account manager, and what is best for the customer. It can lead to some nasty behavior.


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