Many businesses are now joining the outsourcing ship. They see that there are many positive sides to it. They see the many benefits they can get out of it, but before we head to that, what first is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a practice used by different companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally. Any business process that can be done from an offshore location can be outsourced. Some samples are non-core activities such as administration and back office operations.
So, now, why outsource? First and foremost, the obvious reason is cost savings. Think about the fact that you can lower costs for your organization instead of having to spend a whole lot of money for conducting a hiring, training, buying the necessary equipment and maintaining them and all things connected to having a new hire. The lower cost of operations and labor and reduction in overhead costs make it attractive to outsource.
Second, a business would most especially want to remain focused on their core areas so here, outsourcing also comes into play. It is more convenient and reduces the stress on maintaining another department. It also makes way to look into more important matters which concerns the organization like focusing on your brand, invest in research and development and move on to providing higher value added services.
Lastly, through this, a unit can upgrade the quality of services and capabilities enticing clients to choose them knowing they can provide services better than others.
Although these advantages may make it look so inviting, should an organization take the chance to outsource on IT security? There are some disadvantages that come with outsourcing services and the most important would be the following: First is the risk of losing sensitive data and the loss of confidentiality. As it comes with outsourcing, the organization exposes its data and business procedures to the service provider, therefore it is important to have constant checks in place to avoid these data loss.
Next, there is a chance of losing management control of business functions. These their data. The organization would have to make sure to keep it safe and that the third party only has limited control those data.
And thirdly, transparency in legalities and costs should be practiced. Problems may arise if terms and conditions are not clearly defined. It pays to be vigilant in preparing them before deciding to accept the deal.
If there is a need to really outsource, one should set up and enforce an acceptable SLA (service level agreement. Here are some of the many core items that should be present, understood and communicated by the parties involved:
- Clear and extensive description of services being provided– This is to ensure that there are no assumptions or holes in what is or not being covered in the services being provided. It should also be stated that there will be no subcontract works and procedures.
- Proper protection of intellectual property– The services provider should be well- informed on what data is confidential or are trade secrets and what the ramification of this when information is leaked. A non- disclosure agreement and a confidentiality contract should be put into order.
- Confidentiality of security breaches– It should also be stipulated in the contract that the outsourcing service provider does not share any of the organization’s “dirty laundry” to any of its other customers or other entities in the industry. Release of this information can cause serious damage to the brand.
With all those stated above, it still would depend on an organization whether they chose to outsource or not. As long as they believe that the advantages outweigh the drawbacks and everything is crystal clear between parties involved, then, chill out(source)!