Outsourcing: A Point of View (Part 1)

The world is not just getting closer these days it really becomes a small village mainly due to the rapid communication and information channels provided by the Web. The idea to move working activities (at least, partially) into other countries is not extremely innovative, however during the last years it got an additional impulse especially in relatively new industries such as IT.

Different kinds of IT-enabled services starting from call-center and customer support, data entry and handling testing operations to more refined tasks such as market analysis, system design and architecture and software development are easily and eagerly outsourced these days.

In fact, that shift to more high-end activities which do include knowledge process outsourcing have gone almost unnoticed. Partly that outrageous revelation can be attributed to the fact that there is no commonly acceptable method to measure or evaluate outsourcing worldwide. However, the very idea of possible knowledge sharing with some other countries (most of which belong to the notorious Third World) produce an array of superstitions against the concept and a strong defensive stand of possible clients and customers: security issues, intellectual property protection and what not.

As any popular concept, outsourcing nowadays has a myriad of interconnected myths and legends which do much harm both to those who want to engage into that activity and become an outsourcing provider and those who are eager to find somebody to fulfill their tasks. These misleading opinions, being positive or negative, have created a prolific ground for taking a wrong business decision and making a wrong choice.

It is quite difficult to explain the reasons for emergence of those myths. Partly they can be accounted for personal experience which due to the Web accumulates unpredictable power and gains unforeseen impact on others. Besides, one should not underestimate the marketing strategy of outsourcing companies eager to open new markets and deliver services abroad.

The reality as usual is somewhere in between. Outsourcing is not that bad and risky adventure as some company owners are tempted to pose it and at the same time it is not that delicious piece of cake as advertising experts describe it. It is merely a tool which when used at the appropriate time and to achieve certain tasks can and will be a success.

However, there are two main things which are worth recalling again and again. Firstly, outsourcing is not a universal tool which solves all the business issues at once. It can turn out that the remedy is out there while outsourcing certain activities is just a palliative. If you want to outsource your custom support which is rising in scale, it may be a good decision to discover why so many people need guidance and assistance. The issue may well be connected with a poor design or unacceptable user interface.

Secondly, getting rid of some working issues by turning to a reliable outsourcing provider is not the end of story. You get a whole new bunch of concerns to spend your nerves on: a matter of control, timing, communication issues and security risks. Of course, most of the time those fears are severely overblown but nevertheless for clients all of them seem real which means they will spend their energy and the providers’ time trying to keep all the operations under a thorough guidance and close control.

Outsourcing is a kind of a market trend these days. However, too many customers eagerly and carelessly involved in it and unfortunately messed it up. Now they share their negative experience blaming others for mistakes they have made themselves. Not to follow their path one should realize the reasons for taking the outsourcing activity as well as all the possible concerns which might arise on the way to success.

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