Organizations are said to be outsourcing their eLearning activities, when they get an external vendor to contribute to their learning function; either in terms of developing eLearning modules, managing learning management systems or, providing user support. There could be several motivational factors for organizations to do so. These could be:
- Lack of in-house resources
- Need to use internal resources for more specialized tasks, or
- Handling large scaling up eLearning activities that cannot be managed in-house.
However, organizations are hesitant to outsource the entire eLearning function, to an external provider, due to several reasons. Here, I would like to touch upon three typical concerns of organizations, which prevent them from outsourcing the entire eLearning development, to an external provider.
How can confidential information be shared with an external provider?
How secure is the data that you share with your vendor partners? One of the primary concerns for organizations could be confidentiality; particularly information such as organizational processes or product information.
How can one manage the deliverables of an external team?
Managing internal team members on projects is challenging enough. How can one expect to have a smooth sailing with an external team? Organizations are wary about external vendors who agree on the timelines and required deliverables on paper, but do not adhere to them at the time of implementation.
How can an external provider truly understand our learning context?
Finally, many learning and development professionals believe that external vendors cannot understand the learning culture and training requirements of the organization. As a result, they may not be able to understand the training requirements to the extent an internal team would. These communication and cultural differences are also one of the concerns that prevent organizations from outsourcing their eLearning requirements.
Do you think some of the concerns voiced above are unjustified? What are your views on eLearning outsourcing? Do share your thoughts on the same.