While these vendors have extensive partner networks of solution providers, there are better choices for your apps, software and services. Let’s explore a few different outsourcing alternatives your business might not have thought about.
The popular trope used to be that IT jobs went overseas. Today, that’s evolved to where many IT shops are now located in the U.S. Called “onshoring,” outsourced IT jobs, such as talent and information management services, might travel only a few hundred miles away, rather than to another continent. As an example, Centene Corp. is using small teams of IT developers from Onshore Outsourcing, based in rural communities about a three hour drive north of their St. Louis headquarters. The teams work together with their in-house developers. Centene is in the business of managed health care plans and likes that they can keep their jobs in-state and have the outsourced team members come to their offices for regular face-to-face meetings.
MSPs and SaaS
Another direction for outsourcing is to make use of managed service providers (MSP) and Software-as-a-Service solutions (SaaS). Essentially, this allows you to pay monthly fees to move capital expenditures to recurring operating expenses. You can buy just about anything these days via these models, and many companies are finding that the costs can bring fast returns, and ultimately, save money, since they are only paying for capacity when they need it. This process also relieves the burden of smaller IT staffs from maintaining gear and moves the responsibility to the managed provider for equipment upgrades and routine maintenance chores.
And one final way is to use the crowd for your outsourcing needs. Called “crowdsourcing,” the notion is to split a job into very small pieces that can be done by a single individual or computer, such as image processing or solving complex mathematical equations. Think about transcribing an audio recording, or using Photoshop to process a series of photographs, or finding a graphic designer to create a logo for a new product. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and eLance.com are two of more than a dozen firms that operate in this space. If you want to learn more about how this is done, check out this podcast I did with Brent Frei, who runs a company that is active in this space. You can save lots of money and time with this method too.
Making It a Success
As you can see, there is a lot of depth and nuance to the modern interpretation of outsourcing. Regardless of the method you choose, it is vital that the culture in both organizations match for the outsourcing partner to be a good fit for the job. For a few more suggestions, check out these eight ways to ensure your next outsourced project will be a success.