VIP report on outsourcing

The latest issue of VIP includes a summary of a report on outsourcing that Freepint and Integreon undertook. The report looked at how information professionals and information centres are approaching the outsourcing of Knowledge and Information Services. The report also looked at what some of the barriers to outsourcing are and how satisfied companies who have outsourced elements on their Knowledge & Information Services teams are.

Now if you're anything like me as soon as you hear the word outsourcing you will grimace, outsourcing to me = job losses. So some of the content of the summary made interesting reading.

  • Out of 71 respondents to the survey that formed the basis of the report 41% are currently outsourcing some element of the Knowledge & Information Services department
  • Of the rest of the respondents 25% were not considering outsouring at all.

So it's not all doom and gloom when it comes to outsourcing. I should say I think there are some elements of Knowledge & Information Services that could potentially be outsourced for instance around document preparation or where the output from research is a profile of a company or organisation/where a template can be used and followed by anyone.

There are also some administrative duties that could certainly be outsourced and there are some good examples of companies like Prenax consolidating and labelling deliveries of journals so that staff time is spent doing this. Legal Research however is altogether very different and I cant see how an outsourcing company would be able to match (in terms of quality) the efforts of an internal team.