Outsourcing has ceased to be a buzzword these days I will say. We have talked enough about it and are now taking it for granted (or is it a two-years-at-business-school-amidst-jargons effect on me 🙂 ). Most of the time outsourcing is talked about at the strategic levels in the context of the firm. The only other major issue that often surrounds the issue is the effect on the employees of the firm which is outsourcing its functions. This issue is important, of course. But this is an issue to be faced during transition, when the existing fat firms are adopting outsourcing. In long term and at macro level, it will have another benefit for the employees across the companies and industries. The benefit will be that of becoming the main stream employee of the companies they work for, instead of remaining a part of just the “support function”. I will explain in detail. Today, if a Computer Science graduate of an IIT is offered an IT position in a bank, (s)he will not be that receptive to it. Why? His/Her professional pride will not get sufficient boost in that role. IT is not *the* job of a bank. Its just a support function. If you have been a go-getter, achiever type of a person, you will be dissatisfied. Now, in a Software Services firm, (s)he might end up doing the same job – outsourced by a bank, or by an FMCG company or whatever. But here his or her job is the mainstream job. The person is a part of what makes or breaks the company. (S)He is directly involved. Consider an HR person in this Software company now. (S)He is only in a support role now, but take him/her to an HR outsourcing or consulting firm and there you go – in the main role. Over the time, I think it will increase the professional pride associated with different functions.
Now, of course, like everything else, this future will also not be a clear-cut balck and white. There can not be firms doing just one function – there will be a limit to outsourcing. And not everyone can be expected to be happy living in the narrow functional job profiles. But this is still an effect worth notice and appreciation.