What Types of Services Can Be Outsourced?

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Companies rely heavily on outsourcing for inexpensive IT labor solutions.
Companies rely heavily on outsourcing for inexpensive IT labor solutions. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Outsourcing is the practice of hiring an outside firm to provide cheap labor. While outsourcing started out as a means for hiring inexpensive manufacturing labor, this human resource solution is currently used to hire all types of white-collar professionals as well. Once the domain of larger enterprises, times have changed, with smaller companies also turning to outsourcing companies for inexpensive solutions to human resource needs. Companies can outsource almost any job these days.

Technical Services

India and China provide two major outsourcing technical hubs for many U.S., European and Japanese companies. According to the InformationWeek Analytics State of IT Outsourcing Survey completed in March 2011, the overwhelming majority of the 513 respondents surveyed reported plans to increase outsourcing technical jobs. Common types of technical jobs that are outsourced are related to software development, engineering, IT consulting and product design. Lower paid, tech support positions represent another segment of that market. The growing demand for customer support professionals to answer the questions of new commercial and retail owners fuels this ongoing personnel requirement.

Professional Services

Outsourcing continues to evolve as the demand for an ever-increasing population of professional workers increases. Companies now outsource highly-educated positions for lawyers, writers, teachers, journalists, human resource consultants and medical research staff. Many small businesses seek the occasional professional expert from outsource providers as an attractive alternative to paying the steep prices charged by local accountants of attorneys . An interesting new trend is the creation of new legal positions in the U.S. by outsourcing firms. With 17 offices scattered around the world, Integreon offers lawyers and paralegals gainful employment and worldwide exposure.

Financial Services

While call centers and customer service support roles comprise a large segment of outsourced financial jobs, other positions are also being sent overseas. In India, a large proportion of these jobs include financial opportunities in insurance, banking, financial research, transaction processing and tax processing. In addition to more traditional outsourced jobs, many higher level job titles such as actuarial analyst and financial equity researcher are also showing up as new positions.

Services Unwisely Outsourced

The best way to discuss what types of jobs can be outsourced might be to simply eliminate the positions that companies cannot outsource easily. With a growing trend towards outsourcing high level white-collar jobs as well as unskilled labor, the market for outsourcing appears vast. When business leaders consider the possibility for outsourcing virtually any job activity, they soon realize that the bigger decision relates to a cost-benefit analysis of keeping certain jobs in-house and outsourcing others. Security and quality concerns justify keeping many jobs in-house. Logistically, certain face to face jobs are almost impossible to outsource presently. Firemen, law enforcement officers, teachers, nurses and other health care personnel are a few good examples of positions unlikely to be outsourced anytime soon. With the exception of face to face jobs and positions involving a high security risk if delegated to outsiders, most services offered by employees can be outsourced.

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