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Outsourcing and Offshoring are Loaded Terms

Outsourcing and Offshoring are Loaded Terms

What’s in a word?

And what about offshoring? Well, the Googleplex that services Gmail is certainly located in the United States, as are Salesforce.com's mega server farms. But in using Gmail, does one really say, 'I have offshored my email services to the US?' Mind you, the French secret services are reported as forbidding President Sarkozy's new cabinet staff from using BlackBerries on the grounds that the American CIA might be able to penetrate RIM's North American infrastructure.

Behind the words are some business realities that require proper scope and position. Outsourcing a la facilities management model will likely address such vital business assurance requirements as business continuity, security and regulatory compliance. How does one address these issues sourcing CRM services online at arms length from Salesforce.com?

Equally, offshoring the services of professionals at desks appears to carry a different connotation to offshoring highly automated on-demand services across the internet. And yet, how secure is your company's intellectual property if exposed to the powerful Google search engine?

And, if offshoring, what is a shore? The UK runs a serious £2bn surplus in its balance of trade in architectural services. Is this because companies are offshoring their architectural requirements to the UK? Bet you never thought of the UK as a shore, yet it runs a strong trade service in a range of IT services, in addition to such professional services as architecture. And what about the City?

So, next time you hear a debate about the challenges and dangers of offshoring, ponder the UK, one of the world's major shores in its own right!

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