A one-paragraph history of outsourcing
When the term first appeared, “outsourcing” was seen as the easy choice. Companies with large demands of low-level skills could take advantage, even if only temporarily, of low wages across the world. The benefits even extended beyond labor: Specialization led corporations to focus on a “core business,” and outsourcing gave access, at least in theory, to operational support on areas that were somebody else’s core business as well.
Outsourcing in Moodle today
Currently, many forms of outsourcing end up being called “strategic partnerships.” As Jacqueline Hammond argues on the Blackboard blog, changing the frame of mind about the practice can empower institutions, especially the more traditionally conservative learning organizations, to receive expert support.
Learning organizations that are beginning to leverage Moodle can reach out to experts, from talented Moodlers to full blown Moodle Partners and everything in between. They can not only cut down production time to get an LMS that is ready to support interventions and experiences, it can also bolster results, innovation, and profits. A quality relationship is worth fighting for, never easy, and a joy to have.
This is not to say outsourcing is always a good idea and reservations are always unfounded. Creating wealth is a positive sum game that should leave both parties better off in the long run.
Don’t Outsource Out Of…
Hopelessness. Outsourcing should not be a measure of last resort. It is one thing to reach out for expertise and subject-matter knowledge, completely another to expect a third party to fix damning flaws in your organization’s core mission.
Imbalance. Some organizations have developed advantages based not on innovation, but scale. It is tempting to spend on something because everybody else has it, rather than to answer a unique need. Other ways in which outsourcing can compromise long-term sustainability is when the partner’s edge is proprietary intellectual property, something against which Moodle organizations are better prepared thanks to the open source nature of the technology.
Stinginess. Sometimes, dollar-to-dollar, outsourcing seems like a no-brainer, which is good. Just make sure there are other advantages too, or at least that organizations do not end up creating dependencies.
3 Reasons Why Outsourcing in Your Moodlepreneur Venture is the Smart Choice:
- When they deliver on hard-to match skills. Marketing and business development are prime examples.
- When they transfer knowledge, especially in an efficient way that shortens the time it takes to influence business practices.
- When they help outlay a roadmap for the future and sharpen innovation development.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.