Outsourcing experts and providers are hoping the down economy will give them an up side: Companies needing to make drastic cuts could see a solution in replacing costly full-timers with contractors working in countries that provide lower wages.
Some say it's already happening. Consero Global Solutions, which outsources finance and accounting work to India for small businesses, claims its revenue grew 90 percent last year compared to 2007, partly because of the financial turmoil.
At the same time, though, current events have made some businesses, particularly financial services firms, pull back from outsourcing as they put discretionary projects on hold. Others may think twice about signing new long-term contracts if the $1bn accounting scandal at Satyam Computer Services makes them jitterier about entrusting foreign third parties with sensitive data.
Trust has been one of the sticking points in the outsourcing industry's drive to make its business in back-office services rival that of its technology offerings' fortunes. Although so-called business-processing offshoring has grown in recent years, some companies have been wary of sending finance and accounting jobs in particular overseas.
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