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Overseas data processing: A means to an end or an END to a means?

Though we, as a company, do not engage in overseas data processing  mostly based on principle  there are many companies in the Canadian brokerage industry that certainly do, and we would be remiss not to address this growing trend in our business. Let's discuss the actual reasoning behind overseas data processing (though it should be obvious as to why it happens so much in our industry), as well as go over the advantages and disadvantages of the practice.
The point of this blog post, to be clear, is not to take sides in the debate, but to provoke some discussion about what is going on in the Canadian brokerage industry, and to help you decide if cutting your company's cost  or protecting your company's trade secrets  are more important. 

Overseas Data Processing: Why outsourcing?

The reasoning behind outsourcing  especially outsourcing overseas  is that of one: it's cheaper to do it than to hire people in-office to do the same work.
For many people in the Canadian brokerage industry, however, it's not about necessarily saving an excessive amount of money, but about not being able to handle everything internally. Whether it be because companies don't have the infrastructure, or because companies don't have the time to train a whole department of people in the finer points of the data processing aspect of their business, the fact remains that it's very difficult to hire  and train  people to handle data processing in your business.
However, while it's important that you do what's best for your organization  and before you decide to outsource your data processing  there's an important list of advantages and disadvantages that you have to consider before you outsource your data processing. This is the only way you're going to be able to decide if outsourcing your data processing is right for you. 

The Advantages of Outsourcing

  • The data processing center is just as experienced as one you would hire within your country. Many overseas data processing centers, thanks to appropriate subsidies from the government, not only have the appropriate training, but the appropriate equipment, to get the job done right.
  • Outsourcing the data processing center allows you to shift your focus onto your company's core processes. Data processing is a supporting process, and if too much time is spent on trying to fix a supporting process, you won't be able to focus on your core processes (which, frankly, should be sales-focused).
  • Finally, but certainly no less importantly, outsourcing the data processing center shifts your risk mitigating factors. Being that the data processing center is trained in this sort of thing, they can actually manage your risk-mitigating factors better than you might be able to. 

The Disadvantages of Outsourcing

  • Confidential information is being exposed to a third party. Even in a best case scenario  which is that the data processing center doesn't expose anything  there is a chance that confidential information could be exposed in the transmission of information.
  • The deliverables may not be in sync. Depending on the quality of the work, and the time difference, what you're expecting and what they can deliver may be two entirely different things.
  • Finally, but certainly no less importantly, there may be hidden costs involved in hiring an overseas data processor. Bear in mind that hiring an overseas processor may mean that any disputes would leave you subject to the laws of the other country.
Overall, the decision to hire an overseas data processor is entirely up to you. For more information about us and our services, contact us today to see what we can do for you.
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Information provided by: Canadian Customs Brokerage Dept. - Cole International
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