The Case for Outsourcing

The concept of outsourcing - the use of external resources to perform defined tasks or specific assignments - has grown in popularity over recent years.

It is now seen as a cost-effective means of accessing skills and experience required only on an occasional or temporary basis and has not only been used to particularly good effect in overhead reduction programmes, but has also become accepted as a viable long-term alternative to direct employment in a variety of circumstances.

Among the reasons for this are:

Cost - significant savings can often be achieved by paying only for work done (at the appropriate level and cost) and not for holidays, sickness or non-productive time, or for maintaining a permanent establishment.

Flexibility - the use of an external resource allows an organisation to adapt much more readily to changing conditions and to modify its activities in the light of experience.

Expertise - it provides access to specialist skills, as and when required, which an organisation may not be able to justify maintaining in-house.

Accountability - an external resource is professionally liable for the services it is contracted to provide - unlike an employee, the recourse against whom would normally be limited to dismissal.

Employment responsibilities - through outsourcing, an organisation can keep its headcount to the essential minimum and thus reduce the legal and financial responsibilities associated with direct employment.