Outsourcing. It’s a well-established practice of IT departments across the United States that has proven to be both profitable and practicable. However, as common and widespread a practice as outsourcing is, you’re not alone if the word “outsourcing” doesn’t exactly evoke the most positive thoughts.
Ask people what comes to mind and you may hear how outsourcing jobs overseas has diminished American employment, cost Americans their jobs and as a result hurt the domestic economy. Or perhaps you’ll be told of a frustrating call to a tech support center in India, China or the Philippines.
But there is positive news for outsourcing and it’s news that’s changing the reputation of outsourcing for the better, as more and more companies of all sizes are finding that it’s not necessary to go overseas to hire IT talent. They can find skilled IT workers right in their own backyard—specifically in rural America through rural sourcing service providers.
Keeping Jobs in America: A Win-Win-Win
Rural sourcing is an outsourcing method that is based on bringing jobs to lower cost rural areas from higher cost urban centers.
Known also as “rural outsourcing” or “onshoring”, rural sourcing service providers establish delivery centers outside major metropolitan areas across the United States and provide corporations specialized IT services—including software application development and integration, application maintenance and support, software quality assurance and testing, business process automation, business intelligence and data services, and help/service desk.
Rural sourcing is one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry and with the many benefits it can help provide corporate America, communities and individuals, it is no surprise that rural sourcing is now considered a key component in both bringing back and keeping high skilled jobs in America as an increasing number of corporations are rethinking their outsourcing strategies.
What was once thought of as cost-effective over the last few decades, outsourcing overseas is now often considered costly rather than cost-effective. For example, many corporations are finding that outsourcing to China or India is no longer delivering the results they are looking for—rather producing lower returns with higher turnover rates and wage increases. As a result, corporations are exploring rural sourcing as an alternative IT workforce strategy that makes good sense for business.
Corporate Advantages of Rural Sourcing
By creating jobs in rural communities, rural sourcing benefits local economies as well as corporate America. It provides cost-effective IT services that leverage the often overlooked rural workforce, helps corporations compete more effectively in the global marketplace and helps individuals achieve success by providing rewarding IT careers.
With workers based in nearby time zones, rural sourcing makes communication channels more streamlined and coordinating projects easier and more efficient, which can help increase speed to market and productivity. It also eliminates cultural and language barriers that can lead to misunderstandings—misunderstandings that can prove very costly to the all-important bottom-line and bring projects to a halt.
Rural sourcing also lowers risk in two ways. One—strict U.S intellectual property laws provide corporations greater protection for innovations and two—the threat of political events that could potentially disrupt or shut down services is much less severe. Also, with speed and availability improvements in U.S. broadband networks, IT project managers have yet another reason to think rurally to harvest local talent and bring them on board as invaluable members of their team.
Strengthening Rural American Communities
Just as the rural sourcing model can provide a better service experience for corporations, by providing a better way of life for individuals, rural sourcing helps transform and breathe new life into their communities.
Many Americans are tied to their local community for various reasons. And often, there is little or no opportunity for job growth. Taking rural populations who don’t have many job growth options, training them and providing challenging and rewarding IT careers presents opportunities where there were none, ensures spending locally and inspires wealth creation—helping rural communities compete with foreign countries by helping to level the playing field.