Outsourcing – An overview

Outsourcing is used by businesses to realise cost savings and increase flexibility. It is the contracting out of functions, tasks, or services by an organisation and can often involve replacing a core workforce with part-time or contract workers.

Originally, outsourcing may have evolved in Japan where it was well-known and accepted as a large part of the economy. By the 21st century, it had become a global phenomenon that continued to grow in scale, favoured by organisations that saw it as a way to cut costs and gain resources or specialist knowledge. Outsourcing often involves the substitute of a workforce from a high-wage country for workers in developing countries.  These countries are a valuable resource for companies wanting to reduce their costs as there is an almost unlimited supply of educated workers waiting for jobs.

In its early days, the practice was limited to a few business sectors or cases where an organisation’s own skills fell short and needed augmenting by specialists in that area. Savvy 21st century businesses however began to outsource a wide array of jobs.

An excellent resource for everyone that allows you to make up your own mind about outsourcing is the book: The Handbook of Global Outsourcing and Offshoring by IlanOshri.  See this book on Amazon here

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