We hear all the time about offshore outsourcing to India, China, and many other countries in various industries such as IT, manufacturing, and customer service. But recently with the changes in the economy and overseas costs beginning to rise to help combat poor economic conditions worldwide and address poor labor conditions, we are seeing a bigger trend in intranational outsourcing. With the national unemployment rate remaining steady at 10%, corporations are starting to look into lower cost, skilled labor right here in the United States. If you ask me it’s about time!

According to an article on CNN.com, a new form of outsourcing called “ruralsourcing” or “onshoring” is based on the idea that small rural communities in need of jobs can provide inexpensive, quality labor. “One rural outsourcer, Onshore Technology Services, recruits workers from minimum-wage jobs and gives them intensive training in IT specialties. Sixty-five people work in IT centers in the rural Missouri towns of Macon, Lebanon, and Joplin”. This “ruralsourcing” is providing opportunities for people who might not have access to the education they need to acquire higher paying, more fulfilling jobs. At the same time corporations are able to accomplish their goals with a smaller budget. By opening these centers in rural communities with lower costs of living, corporations don’t have to match the salaries of expensive metro type cities and the people are happy to not have to move to over populated metros to get the good jobs.

This onshore outsourcing decreases some potential risks as well. Companies have turned to offshore outsourcing solely for cost based reasoning, however, according to ComputerWorld UK, "[C]ompanies expressed frustration with the quality of work being provided, according to a survey, but most businesses still said they chose the cheapest outsourcing option instead of the best quality. Nearly all businesses - ninety-four percent - admitted that the focus on cost was increasing the likelihood of their projects failing". Another important aspect to consider when thinking about IT related outsourcing is intellectual property rights and how much of that is lost when sending confidential information overseas.

Outsourcing, insourcing, onshore, or offshore, it is all about saving on tactical costs so that organizations can fund the more strategic areas of business. This is certainly not a new idea, but it is nice to see a new twist on an old concept.
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Jennifer Ulrich

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3 comments so far,Add yours

  1. It's about time someone woke up and recognized the untapped resources w/in the US!!!!!!

  2. It's about time someone woke up and recgnzed the untapped resources w/in the US!!!!!

  3. Until the government realizes that our manufacturing base is gone due to their own policies, the USA is fighting an uphill battle to produce good, quality manufacturing jobs here at home. we need to invest in rebuilding our factories so the jobs will come back. Untill we do that, unemployment will remain at 10% or even higher. A service oriented economy cannot be sustained for the long hall, manufacturing jobs will give us that.