Investopedia has a great definition for the concept of outsourcing – “a practice used by different companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally. Outsourcing is an effective cost-saving strategy when used properly.”
But, as the world is changing rapidly, so has the phenomenon of outsourcing in the recent years. Outsourcing no longer means opening a factory in a developed country to produce products for developed markets, at a low price, and at a better quality. Now, companies and people outsource services, employers, and of course products. We are noticing the increase of freelance work around the world, a phenomenon that has “mixed and merged” the markets for many types of jobs and professions (mainly in the digital world).
Benefits or Risks?
For years, experts have discussed the benefits and risks that companies face when outsourcing their products in developed countries. Some claim this process brings more benefits than it presents risks. The main benefits are reduced labor costs, reduced production time, better quality or products or services, etc. However, the biggest risk outsourcing companies and teams always face is the management of the team on the other side. Even why many startups are inventing online communication and managing tools for teams, the gone-bad management for outsourcing teams is in the most cases the reason they go bankrupt. This can happen for many reasons, such as language, cultural differences, geographical distance and time difference, etc.
When we speak about outsourcing services or working as a freelancer, there are other benefits and risks people face. One of the most usual risks includes frauds, not being paid for a service, working more for less, etc. But the benefits are huge: you can earn a decent living even if you can’t find a job in your country, you can learn new skills from a company that has hired you to work remotely, you can bring development to your country through these skills, etc.
But despite the benefits and the risks that come together when a company outsources its products or services, what is the core of outsourcing? To outsource means to develop. When a company from a developed country outsources to a developing country, it contributes and invests in that country not only in the economic aspect by opening new jobs, but also by developing human capital, by bringing new technologies and work techniques, new approaches and points of view regarding work and its processes.