Companies include finance
Outsourcing is being carried out to quite a noticeable extent in order to alleviate costs (Makhnach, 2007). It is actually a subcontracting of tasks. Outsourcing of employees to low-cost countries is to take advantage of cheap labor and to get the work in an inexpensive way. Some of the most common services provided by outsourcing companies include finance, accounting, payroll management, benefit administration, researches, data processing, information technology, and many other activities.
It actually originated in a recessionary environment when tasks that were not that important strategically were contracted out to companies in other countries (Makhnach, 2007). Outsourcing IT em...
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...ployees is being broadly considered as the accepted strategy to curtailing costs, especially in America and other Western countries. It is believed that outsourcing information technology functions will improve job prospects in the home country and create better market opportunities.
The core concept behind outsourcing lies in the fact that the workings of the main sectors of companies is dumped onto the companies that specialize in the tasks and thus, are able to reduce costs and improve productivity (Weidenbaum, 2004; Makhnach, 2007). “In reality, most IT organizations save 15%-25% during the first year; by the third year, cost savings often reach 35%-40% as companies “go up the learning curve” for offshore outsourcing and modify operations to align to an offshore model. ” (Davison 2004, Pg. 1) This is not a recent phenomenon, however.
Outsourcing of IT employees had started years before, when IT companies in the US wanted to capture some share of the foreign markets (Weidenbaum, 2004). Apparently, 60 percent of the revenue of American information technology companies is originated overseas. This is due to the fact that domestic market has been saturated and companies face a decline in sales revenue as a direct result of this (Weidenbaum, 2004). Outsourcing IT employees can help a company survive in a market where cut-throat competition prevails (Weidenbaum, 2004).
Besides, an IT firm is forced to turn towards outsource as a last resort when its rival firms start benefiting from it and strengthen their market power. Global outsourcing can enable the companies to customize their products to meet the needs of local demands, besides allowing them to give 24 hours coverage, 7 days a week (Weidenbaum, 2004). According to research reports (Weidenbaum, 2004): “About 400,000 U. S. positions in information technology have gone offshore. Meanwhile, total U. S. employment rose from 129,000,000 in 1993 to 138,000,000 in 2003–mainly in services.
Only about 1. 4% of the $120,000,000,000 spent on information technology (IT) services in the U. S. in 2003 moved offshore. ” (p. 1) The positive impacts of outsourcing include lower inflation, increased productivity and lower interest rates (Global Insight, 2004). This gives a boost to business and consumer spending and improves the overall state of economic activity. In the US, global outsourcing of IT employees has improved the Gross Domestic Product quite to a substantial extent. “By 2008, real GDP is expected to be $124.
2 billion higher than it would be in an environment in which offshore IT software and services outsourcing does not occur. ” (Global Insight, 2004, p. 4) However, it can not be denied that outsourcing IT employees from other low-cost countries causes IT employees in USA to lose their jobs. In contrast to that, it creates more employment opportunities because economic activity undergoes an improvement and thus, global outsourcing has increased net employment in the US and IT workforce in the US is expected to grow (Global Insight, 2004; Makhnach, 2007).
“The incremental economic activity that follows offshore IT outsourcing created over 90,000 net new jobs as of 2003 and is expected to create 317,000 net new jobs by 2008. ” (Global Insight, 2004, p. 6) The impact of global sourcing on employment differs by industry sector. The major industry groups that are expected to gain a significant number of incremental jobs over the next few years are education and health services, transportation and utilities, construction, wholesale trade, financial services, professional, business and IT services, and manufacturing (Global Insight, 2004).
Moreover, it is also being noted that as global outsourcing of IT employees has increased productivity and lowered inflation rates, employees currently in the U. S. are enjoying higher level of wages than before (Global Insight, 2004). As the impact of global outsourcing continues to escalate, the wages are also expected to rise in the near future. The overall effect of this leads to increased efficiency and a higher output which depicts the well-being of the economy (Global Insight, 2004). “With lower inflation and higher productivity, real wages were 0.
13% higher in 2003 and are expected to be 0. 44% higher in 2008. ” (Global Insight, 2004, p. 1) Furthermore, as outsourcing IT employees from low-cost countries such as China and India, leads to a decline in total costs, outsourcing lowers the overall price of the products which in turn makes the products more attractive for the buyers in other countries and increases exports. That is again beneficial for the economy as it improves the balance of trade of a country (Global Insight, 2004; Makhnach, 2007). “Real exports were $2.
3 billion higher in 2003 and are expected to be $9 billion higher by 2008. ” (Global Insight, 2004, p. 2) Global outsourcing has caused IT professionals to redefine their roles and created opportunities for developers to move into design, architecture, understanding of domestic customer, managerial experience, process knowledge and product management while the non-core tasks are off shored (Weidenbaum, 2004). In many cases, the higher productivity often offsets the cost of operating overseas. These core outsourcing advantages help companies to achieve their goal and increase their profitability.
It is also argued that employees in the U. S. that are displaced due to outsourcing are freed up to engage in more lucrative work (Weidenbaum, 2004). “In the software and services area, the economy is expected to create 516,000 jobs over the next five years in an environment with global sourcing but only 490,000 without it. Of these 516,000 new jobs, 272,000 are expected to go offshore, while 244,000 are expected to remain onshore. Thus, the U. S. IT workforce will continue to grow. ” (Global Insight, 2004, p. 1)
Conversely, outsourcing has marked negative impacts as well, especially for the outsourcing country, such as the US. Firstly, outsourcing for some companies has created more complexities than were present before. This often leads to unnecessary costs and creates problem in the value chain, thus giving rise to a lot of managerial requirements. In many cases, some outsourcing companies are anticipating a lot of benefits and get disappointed when it does not work for them due to the increase in complexity which they find hard to tackle (Singhatiya, 2005).
Even more so, organizational problems such as conflicting objectives put a company’s image, products and quality at stake when its operations are spread out to other countries as well. Outsourcing raises concerns about data security because transferring operations to different countries increases the risk of losing confidential data to third party. This has raised many questions about the usefulness of outsourcing (Singhatiya, 2005). Subcontracting often leads to lack of control and there is a risk of the company being outsourced misinterpreting the tasks that need to be done and the requirements of the outsourcing company.
To operate in different regions or to take full advantages an outsourcing company might need to contact more than one company which leads to a lot of communication hassle. Some companies set a fixed limit as to the number of employees that will be outsourced but encounter problems dealing with unfathomable legal systems, protecting their intellectual property, and meeting the tax requirements besides putting up with the corruption in the outsourced country (Singhatiya, 2005).