I was a bit sceptical about replying to this thread specially because we are not a host and provide outsourcing services ourselves. However, as this is just a discussion I thought I should put our experiences forward.
I kind of agree with everyone on the following points:
- Outsourcing is not at times 100% transparent which most of you have pointed out.
- Outsourcing can affect your business in a positive or negative way.
- Outsourcing is also not the perfect solution for business.
Over the years we have worked with many small/medium and large companies(as large as Google) and noted a few things as below:
- While cost saving is primary reason for outsourcing for most companies, that is not the only reason to do it.
- We worked on a large project with Google providing them support services. Why? Could google not afford in-house staff? No. Google just did not want to do it as hosting technical support was not their area of expertise. That is something that can happen with any other company who wants to concentrate of their core business area. We work with Big web development companies who are happy to outsource their hosting infrastructure management completely because maintaining 24x7 staff in house is neither their business domain not priority.
- A common thought about outsourced support is that they can only handle Level I "we have escalated your issue" types of tickets. I completely disagree with this simply due to the fact that we get more clients looking for skilled technicians to "fix" their issues rather than template monkeys. So yes, challenge your provider with really technical issues and good company will pass with flying colors. So its about choosing the "right provider"
- I have been in the industry for over 12+ years now and have worked with some of the big and best names in the Industry. To name a few, almost all big and successful hosting companies have used outsourced support services during their growing times. Many of them still continue to do so. For these companies, Outsourcing has been a boon.
- Most people say that using in-house staff is risk-free. However, almost every week we get atleast one task where in customer doubts a back door being planted by one of the ex-employees. There are many big companies who face similar issues and news about these issues is all over google.
- I have always been amazed with "Indian" side of things when it comes to the outsourcing business. Outsourcing has been tagged as Indian by people who have the illusion that any work going to India is outsourcing. The facts are a bit different. India is indeed a big IT hub. Every major global IT giant has a considerable work force in India. Apart from that every major IT giant has considerable Indian origin people as part of their top leadership. Do we call that outsourcing? If yes, the microsoft and google are also outsourcing in today's world and this statement would indeed sound very ironic. I believe it is just the skills that are getting paid in this era of globalization.
- Any company or business from anywhere in the world today wants to grow. Growth can only come from acquisition of new clients i.e addition of business and cutting down costs. Outsourcing business is no exception to this. Like any host who grows beyond a certain level opts for in-house support and ignores the cost-cutting factor, even outsourcing companies can use the same formula and give the best skill sets if they see sustained business flow .
Like every other man made service, Outsourcing does indeed have its own merits and de-merits. I do still believe that its leads more to business growth for most companies than anything else due to the cost-effective nature of the services.