In recent times, there have been many reported cases of foreign call centers that expose their clients outsourcing to varied risks, including security threats. Many foreign call centers and call center agents cannot be subjected to the same background appraisals that the local ones are taken through according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006). Consequently, sensitive or confidential information made available to the foreign call centers may be more insecure than the one availed to local call centers, which go through stringent background appraisals. Anthony (2005) reported in E-Commerce Times about the theft of USA-based Citibank customers’ funds that were stolen by the staff members of a call center based in India. Fortunately, about $23000 of the funds were recovered by Indian police. Largely, the theft was blamed on ineffective judicial system of India, which is widely taken as impeding global business and compromising the corresponding security considerations. As well, the theft was blamed on the US’ lack of the requisite technologies to detect, as well as prevent, fraudulent acts happening on outsourced call centers according to Anthony (2005).
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In their daily routines, the call center’s employees communicated with the bank’s customers to get assistance with own accounts at the bank. Some of the employees got some of the customers’ account information, including personal identification numbers fraudulently and transferred funds from the accounts without the customers’ express approvals. Some of the customers from whose accounts funds had been illegally transferred by the employees reported the thefts to authorities. The bank contacted the Indian police who arrested some of the employees who engaged in the fraudulent transactions. Anthony (2005) reports that when companies outsource Indian call centers they become highly susceptible to varied risks owing to a number of reasons. The reasons include that the continuity and accountability measures guiding most of the call centers are challenging and not adhered to frequently and most of the call centers do not screen their employees thoroughly according to Anthony (2005).
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Kirkland & Ellis outsources varied resources related to IS (Djordjevich & Vault 2007). To minimize its exposure to the security risks such as those suffered by Citibank and some of its customers as reported by Anthony (2005), Kirkland & Ellis outsources the resources from better-managed and smaller facilities than the ones engaged by Citibank. Kirkland & Ellis examines the corporate ethics and cultures of specific overseas firms before considering them to offer it given services. By and large, Kirkland & Ellis outsources resources from firms that emphasize the strengths of effectively done assignments and the worth of their staff members as opposed to profits. The background checks that Kirkland & Ellis conducts on overseas firms prior to outsourcing specific resources from them makes the outsourcing effective. The USA-based Citibank does not invest adequately in such checks.
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Firms draw several benefits from outsourcing particular resources. First, it eliminates or reduces the expenses related to having the resources build internally or locally according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006). For example, firms incur fewer costs when they contract overseas call centers to handle client enquiries than when they establish customer care departments to handle the enquiries. The departments attract marked labor, overhead, infrastructure, as well as operational, costs. Outsourced call centers reduce the costs significantly, allowing organizations to make significant savings.
Second, the outsourcing of particular resources helps organizations increase own business continuity according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006). For instance, when a company’s call center agent or provider guarantees continuous uptime, runs several servers in varied geographical zones, and has employees committed to ensuring that call quality is maintained always, the company can be sure of its capability to satisfy own customers’ requirements always according to Bergevin (2010). That can help build the company’s profits over time as well according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004). Despite the several benefits that organizations draw from outsourcing particular resources, the outsourcing may present them with several disadvantages.
One of the disadvantages is that the outsourcing of specific resources by organizations decreases client satisfaction by and large according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006). That is because the outsourcing of the resources is likely to occasion considerable decrease in the quality of the resources hence client satisfaction according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004). Another disadvantage is that the outsourcing decreases the control that the organizations have on their organizational functions, including business functions. The outsourcing means that organizations put some of their vital processes and functions under the control, as well as direction, of foreign entities. The organizations find it challenging to monitor the processes and functions for quality assurance according to Bergevin (2010). As well, as noted earlier, many foreign call centers and call center agents cannot be subjected to the same background appraisals that the local ones are taken through thus they jeopardize the security of the sensitive or confidential information made available to them more than the local ones.
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