Briefing Information Management Best Practices: Navigating Outsourcing And Offshoring
Outsourcing has been a prominent strategy in the information management world for at least 20 years. Information managers have used subscription agents, document delivery services, contract library staffers, and research firms as part of their overall strategy, to supplement their in-house staffs, offload low-value, repetitive tasks, and generally manage costs associated with providing information solutions to users. Now, outsourcing's second cousin, offshoring, has come to prominence as a logical next step as information managers send work to contractors or employees located overseas. This Briefing, based on fresh benchmark data and our ongoing dialogue with the marketplace, examines the state of outsourcing and offshoring today. It includes data on adoption rates, tasks being offshored or outsourced, offshore firms used most often, savings levels realized, and satisfaction ratings. Overall, the Briefing concludes that offshoring is still in its infancy while outsourcing domestically continues to be a significant tool for many typical tasks. It also notes that, while it is too soon to tell definitively, the savings realized from offshoring have not been impressive, and that outsourcing in general has come under criticism in the literature. The Briefing concludes with five Imperatives for Information Managers to help define a solid outsourcing or offshoring strategy.