Outsourcing has become an easy and cost effective technique, which is used widely in today’s digitization world. The developed countries prefer outsourcing their business processes to the developing countries like India. Before going any further we first need to know what exactly outsourcing means. Outsourcing is a process in which companies and organisation hand over work to outside vendor. Any work process which can be handled from outside location of the organisation, can be outsourced. This process is also known as offshore outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing allows the organisation to obtain high quality services at a low operational cost.
There are three broad categories of offshore outsourcing:
- Business Process Outsourcing BPO: it deal in back office and front office outsourcing.
- Infrastructure and Technology Outsourcing: it deals with networking and technology services.
- Software Outsourcing: it deals with the development of software services.
Outsourcing can be done for processes like the customer care support, inventory management, payroll and so on. A lot of call centres also outsource their work. Outsourcing of work is also done for content writing, data entry, editing services, typing work, image manipulation services, transcription and data conversion services.
India is the number one country providing efficient offshore outsourcing services to their clients; it provides outsourcing services in almost all the areas of outsourcing. Apart from India other countries which are efficiently working in the field of offshore outsourcing services are China, Russia, and Egypt and so on.
Why and when do we need Outsourcing?
Outsourcing of one’s business functions and activities helps one to concentrate well on one’s core functions and helps controlling costs. While working if the following questions come to your mind, then you should for outsourcing your work:
- Are we working at a best possible favourable cost?
- Are the available resources utilised to the fullest efficiency?
- Whether the current available resources are able to support new technology and fight the market competition?
- Is there any other efficient way to handle these processes more professionally and quickly?
- Is the organisational team have the professional expertise to deliver efficient work?
- How can we cut down the recruitment and training costs?
Benefits of Outsourcing
Why has outsourcing become such a popular tool for diverse businesses around the world? It is so because it has a number of benefits attached to it. These benefits are enlisted below:
- Cost effective: The most important benefit is that outsourcing of work allows one to get the work done at a very low cost and in a much more efficient way. There is a vast difference in the wage patterns of the western developed countries and the developing companies. The kind of work which is done in the west for a very high price, can be obtained at a much cheaper rate in the developing countries like India, the difference varies to up to 60%.
- Higher level effectiveness: Outsourcing work not only reduces the efficiency and quality of the work. Outsourcing is done to people or organisations which possess greater knowledge of the work and have vast experience in that field. This factor automatically raises the standard of the work, and it can be done in a fast and efficient way.
- Saves on investment: One does not need to spend extra on developing infrastructure. When the work is outsource, the partner who takes over the out sourced work, make necessary infrastructural changes, as per the requirement of the work.
- Cost cutting on training and recruitment: When a particular type of work is outsourced, then the company or organisation does not require hiring skilled people for it. There will also be no need for arranging for training programmes for the same. The work will be handed over to people who are already experts in that trade. This will also bring in efficiency an quality in the work.
- Round the clock work: Outsourcing has a great time zone benefit. There will be difference in the time of one’s country and the country where the work is outsourced. For example if an American country assigns work to a Indian country the time gap is of twelve hours. One can assign work and relax, as the work will be done by the time one wakes up next morning. Therefore work will be going on round the clock; this system is also beneficial for week off days also.
- Faster results: As doing everything by oneself, reduces the efficiency of the organisation, as a lot of things require attention. But when outsources its functions or work, it becomes easy, as part of the burden is shared by the outsource partner. This enables, quick and fast development of ideas into concepts, and also helps in faster delivery of the products, ideas and concepts into the competitive market.
- Overcomes fluctuation in work force: Many times there are fluctuations in the work force, when there less availability of workers to work on an assignment; this happens especially during the holiday seasons and festive seasons. Outsourcing the work enables to control this problem, as work force will be available round the clock to work on the assignments.
- Tap Talent: In the developed countries there is shortage of specific skilled workers, either there is a shortage or they are available at a very high cost. Therefore outsourcing the work in the developing countries enable access to large number of skilled people who are efficient and proficient in English, they are available for work at a very low labour cost.
- Risk Management: A hidden benefit of outsourcing is that if a company by any chance faces problems due to natural calamities, technical crisis or market fluctuations. Then the offshore outsource partners can still keep working on their assignments. This especially beneficial in bringing back the company back on track.
Although outsourcing work has become one of the leading mantras for businessmen worldwide and is well appreciated for its numerous benefits; it is essential for one to be careful in outsourcing ones work. The following things need to be kept in mind while outsourcing any type of work:
- Security policy: if one desires to outsource ones work and functions to other partners. Then one should have a strong and rational security policy for backup. Security policies should take care of data classification, which can differentiate between sensitive and common data. The authorities and managers of the organisation should develop clear policies to set up guidelines and standards for the work process and data security.
- Selection of outsourcing partner: Selection of the right outsourcing partner or vendor is very important. The partner to whom you want to outsource your data should be loyal to you. It should abide strictly to all security policies and guidelines of the organisation. He should ensure that there will be no data leaks and copy from their side.
- Protection of data: Before outsourcing the work to any vendor one should develop ways and techniques to monitor the database. It should also use application which would protect the data from getting tampered. Devices such as firewall should be used to prevent exploitation and abuse of sensitive vulnerable data. Also make sure that the vendor to which you are outsourcing the work also possesses such security software and applications to prevent misuse of the database.
- Training: Before outsourcing the work ensure that the people who are going to work for you from the vendor’s side are knowledgeable and familiar with techniques and applications regarding how to protect and handle sensitive data. Also ensure that regular training and skill upgradation is done in regard to these employees from time to time. It is essential that the team of the vendor who are going to work for you are updated with the latest security and privacy tools, to secure the data of your organisation.
- Monitoring: Before outsourcing any data to your outsourcing partner, develop strategies and methods of regular monitoring for the partner organisation and its employees. Also remember that never provide access of all the data to them at the same time, it should be a step by step process and should be monitored very carefully for any leaks, tampering; and efficiency and quality of the data.
- Security audits: It is very essential to conduct regular data security audits. The audits will bring into light the loopholes and issues related to data security. It will also identify vulnerable database, applications which may hamper the organisation as a whole. This will also help in the identification of the devices which are threat to the security of the database. Regular security audits will assist in development of more efficient security measures and guidelines.
- Prevention Technology: Before outsourcing any work to the partners, find out what type of prevention technology they use, to control the flow of data, what strategies are employed to prevent leakage and tampering of data and so on. Also ensure whether the employees abide by all the guideline and policies laid down by your partner organisation. Find out what and which type of technologies they use to prevent sensitive data from getting emailed or copied through devices like power banks, pen drives and so on.
The following strategies will ensure development of a long lasting relationship with the outsourcing partners:
- Strategic responsibilities should be undertaken. The organisation should discuss operational issues with their vendor, to ensure easy and smooth functioning of the work. For this purpose a specific person should be designated to take care of this aspect.
- Regular meetings should be organised between the two parties to do away with loopholes and problems which hamper the efficiency of the work.
- One should use the modern technology such as email, internet and so on for communication and management.
- It should ensure that each and every employee of the organisation and the partner organisation knows and understands his role and responsibility very well. They should also be aware of how their performance will affect the overall success of the organisation.
- The organisation outsourcing the work should develop strategies and ways to motivate the employees of the partner organisation, and should also reward them for their outstanding performance and support.
- Both the outsourcing agency and its partners should have a clear view about how they will handle change. How and what will they do to adapt to the change, who will play what role in this process.
- And the most important thing is that the organisation should carefully manage and nurture a cordial and long lasting relationship with their partners/vendors. This can be done by appreciating and respecting the contributions made by the partners in the overall development of the organisation.
Outsourcing is also known as offshore outsourcing. It is a process in which a company hands over some part of its work or functions to a separate organisation or partner. Outsourcing is highly appreciated because it reduces the burden of the outsourcing company to some extent, and they can concentrate and focus on their core functions. It also facilitates the company to obtain efficient services at a low cost. Outsourcing also reduces cost on recruitment, training and infrastructural development. It enables the company to take the service of highly experienced and trained experts to execute their work in a more efficient and quick form.
Although outsourcing of work has numerous benefits, but one needs to be careful while outsourcing their work. Measures should be taken to select the right vendor, strategies should be developed to secure the database of the organisation and to check any type of data tampering or leakage. Strategies are also required for monitoring the data flow process and the employees of the vendors. It is also important to maintain a good long lasting relationship with the partners.
This can be done by organisation regular meetings; for discussing operational problems and development of management strategies. The company should develop ways to motivate and reward the vendors and their employees for their positive performance and support. It should focus on maintaining a durable relationship with their clients. It is believed that offshore outsourcing is an important aspect which determines the success of any business in the global market.
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