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Is it really a question of In or Out?


Outsourcing is a hot topic. Should your operations head for the door? In-house or outsourced, it’s a question I have been asked many a time – which is why I’ve noticed with interest the lead article of Friday’s International Securities Services Magazine (, entitled “Outsourcing – the ins and outs”. Or is this question too simplistic?


While there’s no doubting that outsourcing has become critical to the way many financial institutions’ manage their business operations, it does spell a loss of control – often a problem in our heavily regulated environments. Yet finance must seek on-going improvements to drive up efficiency, drive down costs and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape. What’s right for your organisation and is it really a question of all in or out?


Exploring the great outdoors

External service providers are ideal for organisations not interested or able to manage certain functions. Yet, if not managed effectively, they can lead to data loss, litigation, non-compliance and damage to reputation. Popular models include:

  • Cloud-based infrastructure services
  • Business process outsourcing (such as finance, accounting and back office)
  • Knowledge process outsourcing (including market research and R&D)


Keeping it within your own four walls

For some, owning their own systems and investing in experienced staff and strong in-house talent make in-company solutions a logical choice. But do your solutions align with your overall future business strategy? And are they flexible enough to grow if you do? Also, are your current systems and processes as cost-efficient and effective as they need to be?


Time to consider the best of both worlds?

When it comes to the delivery of technology and services – so the ISS lead article argues – one size does NOT fit all. Something I have come to believe myself too. Often, the best results are achieved with the right mix of what you outsource and what you don’t – something they are calling ‘Hotsourcing’ (page 30 of the current ISS issue).


In this way, an organisation can retain the best of its own resources and outsource where it needs additional support.



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