As it sets IT layoffs, Citizens Bank shifts work to India via Web

Patrick Thibodeau

"IT outsourcing has become so commoditized today, it's pretty commonplace for offshore worker training to be conducted almost entirely online and using video," said Phil Fersht, the CEO of HfS research, a consultancy and IT services research firm.

"The shipping of people backwards and forwards between India and the U.S. is definitely slowing down," as communication tools and training apps have improved, Fersht said.

Donna Conroy, the executive director of Bright Future Jobs, an advocacy group for IT workers, has heard from some of the Citizen IT workers.

"This is the first I've heard of exclusive use of web sessions for knowledge transfer," Conroy said. "IBM may have tailored this specifically for Citizens Bank to avoid any public backlash that may clash with Citizens Bank's recently launched marketing campaign called 'Ask a Citizen,' featuring real-life Citizens' employees." But, she said, "the public won't be fooled by this latest deceit."

One Citizen IT employee who is set to lose his job questioned how the U.S. will prosper as it shifts work overseas. A lot of people lost their jobs as manufacturing moved overseas, and computers emerged as "the next big thing," said this worker.

"The manufacturing jobs haven't really come back, save for some smaller companies who wish to make, or at least assemble, their products in the U.S., and now with companies getting rid of American tech workers for foreign workers ... then what? What industry is left or what industry do we shift to?" said the IT worker.

"IT was supposed to be the 'future,' but now even that is being taken away by greed and avarice by companies who have no foresight into the future beyond their next quarter profits," the IT worker said.

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