When you think of outsourcing what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It may be a recent experience with a support center located multiple time zones away. Or perhaps a story you saw in the news about jobs lost in your community because the C-suite of a major employer thought it would be more cost-effective for IT support staff to be anything but local.
Believe it or not, the first thing that I think about when it comes to outsourcing is the classic film, The Wizard of Oz. Okay, hear me out. Just as Dorothy came to realize that “there’s no place like home,” likewise when it comes to outsourcing, more and more companies are also realizing that there’s no place like home when it comes to sourcing tech talent—home being America and in particular, rural America.
Outsourcing no longer has to mean time-zone hopping overseas or going south of the border to find reliable, skilled and affordable IT talent. In fact, outsourcing is increasingly staying put on American soil and sourcing talent through a rural onshore resource provider.
With the many tangible and intangible benefits the rural onshore outsourced model provides to corporate America, it is no wonder that the onshore trend is steadily growing. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of rural American outsourcing to help you better determine if the rural onshore model would be advantageous for your organization’s IT support staffing needs.
Data is one of your most important assets. Just think about all of the recent data breaches we’ve experienced over the past few years. Outsourcing on American soil means you are working with U.S. citizens who are held to U.S. laws and inherently more secure than working with citizens of foreign countries. Most domestic facilities are equipped with 24/7 monitoring, hardware VPN access and some even provide a guarantee of strict physical access and direct CCTV feeds.
Plus, it is more secure in the likelihood of a terrorist attack or geopolitical event occurring which could disrupt or shut down services, as there is far less turmoil in the U.S. than in other parts of the developing world.
2. Protection of Intellectual Property
Legally protecting intellectual property (IP) is key when using an outsourcing services provider for a project. Going offshore for outsourcing can be a security risk since countries abroad—particularly those in the Far East—have the reputation of not fully observing the copyright laws and legislation regarding IP protection.
Of course it’s possible for breaches to occur anywhere, but they are far less likely to happen on American soil, where the legislation is much stronger to begin with and is more strictly enforced.
3. Closer to Home
The real estate agent’s mantra, “location, location, location” also rings true for outsourcing. Proximity is everything—meaning it is much easier, less expensive and a much better use of your time to hop on a plane for a face-to-face meeting with your outsourcing provider when they are in closer proximity than it is to travel abroad to say India or the Philippines. And while it is not necessary for face-to-face contact all of the time, it can become necessary if a project is not going as you expected.
Also, real estate related, is running out of it—as in not having adequate physical space due to IT departments becoming so large. To that end, outsourcing onshore is a cost-effective alternative to leasing and/or buying additional space and is one that allows you to better control capital expenditures and cut overhead costs.
There is also the time zone factor. Outsourcing onshore means that you are never farther away from your provider than three time zones—excluding Alaska and Hawaii. This makes conference calls simpler to set up and more productive since they more than likely do not require any of the participants having to get up at the crack of dawn or going to bed way past midnight.
4. No Language Barriers
Speaking and understanding English is obviously key for any IT project to be successful. Using an offshore outsourcing provider can mean running the risk of costly mistakes even if your provider’s key contacts speak English. They may speak English, but they may not be knowledgeable of local dialects or phrasing that can make the English language hard to comprehend—and hard to comprehend can mean misunderstandings that lead to operational challenges. Language translation and lack of culture comprehension is considered by some CIO's to account for up to 50% loss in productivity, when comparing offshore and domestic resources.
5. Rural is More Cost-Effective than Urban
By sourcing talent in rural areas of this country, you get all of the benefits of an American workforce—innovation, ingenuity, transparency, positive team culture—without the high costs associated with metro delivery centers. Resource providers can pass on the lower cost of wages, living costs and real estate associated with rural locations to customers. In wages alone, this can be as high as a 20% to 40% savings over outsourcing providers located in urban areas of the United States.
6. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
It’s common sense—people like to do business with people who help the local community. Sourcing IT talent rurally and providing careers is just part of the onshore model. Another part—and a very important part—is investing in the local community through donations of both time and money to schools, community programs, sports teams, etc.
To that end, many companies across the United States depend on rural sourcing providers because they want to support local job creation and by doing so, they are helping communities thrive. In fact, “investing in America” is policy for many companies across the United States, which is a wise investment not just for their bottom line, but also for everyone involved.