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BPO Journal

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Outsourcing less of a dirty word

At least, that's what this article in Computer World asserts. As offshoring becomes pervasive and increasingly strategic, CIOs and IT managers are moving beyond the rhetoric to discussing it openly and acknowledging it as a part of their competitive strategy.

To illustrate, Jerry Bartlett of Ameritrade says it's important to define the particular reason you're outsourcing and to honestly communicate that with your staff. For instance, outsourcing at Ameritrade is primarily viewed as a way not to cut costs but to increase speed of service delivery. Since Ameritrade emphasizes innovation, Bartlett's staff understands that if a function is outsourced, it's because it's considered non-differentiating. Bartlett states that the firm has discussions even with its development staff around initiatives that may or may not be good candidates for sending out, so that they understand the context within which they're operating.

Despite managerial acknowledgement of its role as a powerful organizational lever, I still think the decision to outsource remains a difficult one. Paranoia vs. panacea. The tension between improving organizational competitiveness and its impact on the lives of organizational employees is one that managers will have to grapple with for a long time.

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