The news that Computer Science Corporation has received a $391m order from the US Department of Homeland Security is a reminder of outsourcing's ability to remain buoyant even amid storms. The deal will have CSC running datacentre projects including virtualisation and consolidation tasks. Nice work if you can get it, to paraphrase George Gershwin, and, if you're an outsourcer at least, you can get it every time you try.

Not everybody is a big fan of outsourcing, but for the firms themselves the model is well nigh bullet-proof. In a strong economy, outsourcing does well as companies seek to optimise processes to grow faster. In a weak economy, firms turn to outsourcing to batten down the hatches by extracting costs. In a moderate economy, outsourcing does well for a combination of the two afore-mentioned reasons.

A few years ago nobody seriously disputed the value of outsourcing: only where it is applicable and how best to do it. From low-cost operations offshore, to specialist experts via business process fools, the outsourcers have business under their spell. Businesses themselves feel pretty comfortable with the various models having watched as the pioneers took the arrows in their back.

This being a human-to-human interaction, there will always be project failures and disputes but outsourcing companies have emerged as the cash cows of technology services, as reliable a commodity as pork bellies (and containing similar amounts of fat).

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