Technology is the backbone of any outsourcing or offshoring activities and with that in mind, it is useful to consider the technology related tools that are available for use when outsourcing/offshoring.
High speed internet/direct links
The speed and quality of your connection are the most important element when considering offshoring or outsourcing. Sometimes, when an internet connection alone won’t provide the security or speed you are after, a direct link may be the solution.
One of the biggest attractions on offer is cloud computing. When done well, this can considerably speed up your offshore computer network working far faster and more efficiently than a remote access solution.
The move towards paperless or at least “less paper” offices means that more and more information is available to us electronically, meaning we can usually access it from any place at any time. There is no doubt that cloud computing and digital data are two of the big enablers for distributed workforces.
There are numerous video conferencing software solutions available, ranging from the basic and free (Skype/VSee) to commercial integrated solutions. These have opened the way to communicate and collaborate with staff anywhere at any time (subject to having a reliable internet connection).
Employee monitoring software
There are a range of software programs that allow you to remotely monitor the websites your staff visit, take random shots of their computer screen and otherwise oversee productivity.
Cameras can help greatly both with communication and also general supervision. Ceiling-mounted cameras have become common in many offshoring facilities as they assist greatly with staff supervision. Some clients even replicate this set up locally so that their offshore staff feel more connected to their local workforce.