Strategy is gaining popularity, but HCM specialist CRS Technologies advises decision makers to be meticulous in weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.
The option to outsource business functions to expert service providers is becoming more popular – specifically because it offers access to specialised skill sets and the opportunity to grow at scale. However, there are advantages and disadvantages, and business leaders are advised to carefully consider these against business requirements, available resources and goals.
This is according to Nicol Myburgh, Head: HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, who says by taking this approach, managers will make the right choice for their business and avoid pitfalls.
Myburgh lists cost savings, access to expertise and focus as factors that ‘sell’ outsourcing.
“Outsourcing is often the more cost-effective approach, because appointing an in-house resource means large overhead costs and inherent risk. Additionally, businesses have access to sought-after expertise and talent that may not be available in-house, allowing businesses to gain a competitive advantage,” he says.
Another consideration is the benefit of more strategic use of resources, particularly time. By handing over responsibility of certain functions, businesses are given room to focus on core competencies and this leads to improved operational efficiency.
Myburgh emphasises the importance of agility in the digital economy and says that by outsourcing, companies benefit from scalability and flexibility.
“Outsourcing allows businesses to quickly scale up or down in response to market changes without the need for additional investments.”
The flip side
CRS Technologies says silver bullet technology does not exist. The company adds that this principle should be front-of-mind when it comes to deciding on outsourcing.
“There is a flip side to using this strategy and this has to be considered. The down-side of outsourcing is that it could result in a loss of control over certain business functions, which can impact quality standards, data security and policy enforcement,” says Myburgh.
Taking the outsourcing route could result in some communication and cultural challenges. “Outsourcing to providers can introduce challenges such as language barriers, time zone differences, and differences in work practices and cultures. There is also a dependency on external providers, which poses risks like reliance on a single provider, or vulnerability to changes in the provider’s business.”
Moreover, outsourcing customer service or data-related functions may carry reputational risks if not managed effectively, such as data breaches or quality issues impacting the business’s reputation.
Myburgh advises that careful consideration and effective management are crucial for successful outsourcing implementation in businesses.