Why the need to outsource?

MASTER your strengths, OUTSOURCE your weaknesses.

-Ryan Kahn

According to wikipedia.com, outsourcing involves the contracting out of a business process, and operational and/or non-core function to another party. It is also said that outsourcing helps firms to perform well and focus more in their core competencies, improve operations, save costs and mitigate a shortage of skill or expertise in the areas in need of outsourcing.

Should an organization outsource IT security?

Turning over an IT security  to an outside firm is somehow nerve-wracking to managers because of exposure to possible theft or abuse of the organization’s data. It also transfers the control of system to the outsourcing firm. However, outsourcing IT security provides better services or expertise with a lower cost than hiring an additional employee.

For small organizations that cannot afford to buy hardware and software  and hire IT experts to man the Management Information System (MIS), I think it would be advisable to outsource services to avoid greater costs. Likewise, for bigger organizations, they should also consider the scope, time, cost and  quality, among others, to come up with a great solution. They first need a cost-benefit analysis, if the benefit that could be derived from outsourcing IT security is greater than the cost, then, they may opt to outsource.

As mentioned earlier, one of the issues that may arise when one outsource an IT security is the vulnerability to possible theft and/or abuse of information. Furthermore, disclosure of sensitive information and inability of the outsourcing firm to live up to agreed service levels are also among the issues in outsourcing which may jeopardize the organization.

To counteract these kind of risks, there must be a formal contract between the organization and the outsourcer. The organization needs to specify in the contract stipulations the terms and conditions they need to impose upon your service provider. The organization may also include penalty clauses in case there is a breach of contract. If there is an exchange of sensitive information, a binding confidentiality agreement shall also be in place between both parties. Upon termination of the contract, the confidentiality agreement must still be determined.

If an organization wants to outsource, it must consider numerous conditions before arriving at a sound decision. Managers must also take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing, and must choose wisely which firm should be its partner.#





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