Doug Smith
Doug Smith

IT Outsourcing Alternatives: Exploring the Emerging IT Markets Around the Globe

Part 2 of a Three-Part Series: Part 1 of this three-part series explored the advantages of South American and Latin American IT outsourcing solutions. In Part 2, the recently developed market of United States-based rural outsourcing will be explored.

The term “rural outsourcing,” or “ruralsourcing,” was first dubbed in a 2010CNN Money article. The premise for the term was simple — smaller towns needed jobs, offered a cheaper cost of living, and had the talent needed to provide viable IT solutions at a 25 to 50 percent lower cost. To date, rural outsourcing has grown to become a sought-after IT sourcing solution for companies that want to experience the benefits of outsourcing without the disadvantages of turning to an offshore option.

At its core, rural outsourcing offers urban-based companies the same basic benefits of other traditional outsourcing arrangements.

  • Immediate access to technological expertise
  • Resources that the IT client would otherwise lack internally
  • IT help and solutions when they are needed and wanted. Additionally, these solutions are provided on a purely contractual basis without the extensive overhead that a full-time employee incurs

While the aforementioned advantages have given rural outsourcing a strong footing in the IT sector, its true strength lies in additional attributes.

  • Cost advantages have helped rural outsourcing become a viable solution in the past few years. As a general rule of thumb, the cost of living in rural areas is lower than urban settings, which directly equates to reduced labor rates for the same technical expertise
  • Rural outsourcing solutions typically operate within the same time zone. If, however, the chosen IT provider is in a different time zone than the continental United States-based client, then the maximum time difference would be three hours (as is the case between Eastern Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time)
  • English is the de facto national language of the United States, which means that rural outsourcing solutions eliminate the “language barrier” issue of traditional offshore outsourcing options. Rural outsourcing also eliminates potential cultural clashes or issues.
  • Hiring a United States-based firm is generally a more politically acceptable outsourcing alternative for many U.S companies. In fact, hiring domestically might improve a company’s ability to uphold their mission statement or corporate values.

The Bottom Line

Rural outsourcing is a viable option that will continue to grow as political entities encourage companies to create, hire, and grow their organizations within the United States’ borders. This being said, whenever an organization is considering hiring within the global marketplace, they must first determine their customer and business needs. Only by determining and weighing the needs of these factors, can an organization more effectively evaluate IT outsourcing alternatives. Just as the South American and Latin American markets are ripe for exploration, the rural outsourcing market will become a choice for many American organizations, particularly government entities, who will want to capitalize on its low cost and high-value IT offerings.

To learn more about Wavestone US’ services, visit

Doug Smith
Managing Director

Doug has more than 20 years of experience as an IT leader and strategist. Before joining Wavestone US, Doug built and led the Enterprise Architecture function for McKesson, a Fortune 15 healthcare company. In his role as VP of Architecture and Solution Management, he led a team to develop technology strategies and roadmaps for McKesson’s businesses worldwide. At McKesson, he also served as VP of Data Center Transformation and led a multiyear, multimillion-dollar program to modernize and transform IT infrastructure and support teams. Doug has also served as an interim CIO for several of McKesson’s smaller businesses. Before McKesson, Doug worked for Novant Health as Director of Corporate Applications; and as a consultant for IBM Global Services, where he built an intranet to streamline delivery of content to physicians and nurses.

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