Some years ago, moving services to offshore locations was all the rage. The trend remains current for many large businesses, including Microsoft, which still outsource plenty of their support functions to India and (it’s fair to assume) save serious sums of money in the process.
Despite the popularity of outsourcing, there was a backlash. Many individuals objected to the loss of local jobs so that the select few could add to their profits and bonuses. Sometimes, cultural differences and barriers to understanding came into play. Next came concerns about data protection. Outsourcing called into question where data was being stored, and this clearly had implications in terms of compliance and security. All this combined to make many companies nervous about outsourcing to offshore locations, and many chose to stick with the relative “safety” of keeping everything close and controlled.
New Reasons for Offshoring
Now there’s a chance that everything is going to be turned on its head once again. The reason? Well, it again relates to information security, but this time people are looking in the other direction.
Recent cyber-security scandals have made some companies nervous about storing data in places they previously would have considered safe, such as the United States and United Kingdom.
Edward Snowden’s IT security revelations resulted in a serious breach of trust between citizens and their own governments. Where previously companies may have avoided offshoring certain functions, some are now looking to move their data away from home–and from the alleged “prying eyes” of the authorities.
While this by no means implies that there’s going to be a wholesale jump back to offshoring, it makes sense for forward-thinking MSPs to consider ways to give customers a choice of where their data resides and where their services operate from.
New Opportunities to Address Clients’ Concerns
This issue isn’t relevant just for firms with “something to hide.” Many people feel wronged and violated by the activities of their governments. They want their data to be safe, and at minimal risk of compromise. Therefore, an opportunity clearly exists for MSPs to work to truly meet the needs of clients who are preoccupied with where their data resides and who might be able to access it.
2014 was undoubtedly the year when everybody started to think about privacy, encryption, and the safety of their data. MSPs who pre-empt and plan for their customers’ questions and preferences in 2015 will be able to profit from this trend.