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Changes in IT Trends: Why have outsourcing companies / clients started hiring freelancers and not offshore development companies?
I have been serving this industry for more than a decade now and have met more than a thousand clients, some of whom I went on to work with and some of whom just came to discuss their project without taking it further. During this time I have noticed a behavioural change in clients; in the last 4-5 years their inclination has been towards hiring freelancers rather the working with companies.
I have been trying to analyse this change, along with the change in the demands of the clients all over the world, and I have deduced that this is not only happening in the IT industry, but in all major industries. So, as I work in IT, I tried to find the reasons why it affects this industry.
The advantages of hiring freelancers
Affordability in terms of the pricing
I thought that affordability could not be the only cause of this shift from using offshore development companies to outsourcing the work to freelancers. I discussed my concerns with a lot of companies across the globe, in meetings, exhibitions and IT panel forums and found a reason behind it. That is, clients feel they can mould the freelancer to their needs and make them work beyond scope most of the time. This is very difficult while working with companies as they have set “SOW – Scope of Work” definitions, and anything beyond the “SOW” is chargeable.
So this implies that flexibility in terms of work is another factor for hiring freelancers.
Another reason that I found was the ease of work and implementation of the project at the client’s convenience. Freelancers are ready to work the hours that clients want them to work. Due to different time zones, freelancers are ready to work the hours that the clients are comfortable with.
Freelancing websites offer a platform to freelancers upon which they can showcase their skillsets and through which clients can easily interview them. Websites like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer etc. offer such platforms, but these websites do not have any set authentication steps.
I remember there was one website named Elance, which a year or two back merged with Upwork, which was one of its kind. They used to do verifications and authentication for companies, and also for individuals, that kept the quality and standards under control.
But a few of my questions are still unanswered when you choose to work with freelancers…
How secure your data, whether it is your domain name or your hosting?
Are Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) maintained?
Are you in secure hands?
Are standards being maintained?