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What is IT Outsourcing?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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Information technology (IT) outsourcing refers to the hiring of contract workers or companies to complete tasks for a business. This is done as a less costly alternative to hiring a full-time staff member. There are various sub-categories of IT outsourcing work that may be done.

One job that may be outsourced is that of computer programmer. While many companies may hire a full=time programmer to handle software development, certain web design issues, and software training; IT outsourcing is often much less pricey. Professionals can be hired on a per job basis meaning that after each job is complete, the company is no longer obligated to the IT personnel and vice-versa.

Many times web design work is also outsourced to independent contractors or companies. The designer may be hired to complete the design of the site, and then on a task by task basis for routine maintenance, upgrades, and other site related issues. IT outsourcing can also include those who are hired on a full-time basis, but as an independent contractor. This means that the IT professional is still self employed, but has a contract with a company to complete certain ongoing tasks.

Other fields that are common in IT outsourcing are service professionals, computer repair workers, and network security professionals. They may work for one company or several at a time to help customers with computer related issues. Most times, the person will maintain working relationships with several clients at once.

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There are many benefits for both employers and workers to forming an IT outsourcing relationship. The main benefit for employers is that outsourcing is often much more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee. Things like health benefits, vacation pay, maternity and sick leave, and other perks of being employed are not offered to independent contractors. Outsourced workers are also responsible for handling their own taxes, since they are self employed. Additionally, things like computers, office space, and supplies do not have to be provided by the company.

IT workers also maintain several benefits by doing tasks that companies have chosen to outsource. They are able to choose which assignments they want to take and which ones they would rather not deal with. For instance, if they do not enjoy working with a particular client, they are not obligated to do so unless there is a pre-existing contract. Independent workers are often able to make more money than employed individuals because they are not restricted by the amount of work they can take in. Rather than earning a set salary, they can earn more or less by taking on more or less work.

Many companies benefit further by outsourcing simple tasks overseas. This is a controversial topic for many, since jobs being sent to other countries are not being filled by capable workers within the company's home country. However, some countries have workers who are willing to work for much less than others, thus saving companies money. Every business owner and IT professional must decide what is ethical and fair for them regarding this situation. Many workers are not willing to lower their prices to compete with overseas workers, and many companies would rather hire within their home country.

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