Mobile technology has disrupted a lot of old business models. You only need to look at Airbnb and its impact on hotel rooms, or Uber and its impact on taxis to see what I’m talking about. The ability to use a mobile device to access customers wherever they are in the world and plug them into local resources is a goldmine. It’s no surprise that venture capital funds are pouring billions of dollars into shared economy mobile app companies.
One particular industry that is sure to be disrupted by mobile app technology is the outsourcing industry. Traditional outsourcing involves centralized companies that lease out specially trained workers to clients all over the world. They often work on a project by project basis. Once a project ends, a new set of clients utilizes the labor of this centrally located outsourced workforce. The benefit of outsourcing is pretty straightforward. Instead of hiring people locally and paying all sorts of taxes and insurance, you only need to ship the work to the other side of the planet and get it taken care of at a lower absolute rate due to lower wage costs and no insurance or other statutory mandated costs.
If you think American businesses are saving money now through outsourcing, they could save a lot more money through mobile-based outsourcing platform. Since there are hundreds of millions of people in the developing world with mobile devices, can you imagine turning those people into a distributed workforce? Not only can this sink production costs, it can also provide a truly redundant workforce. If work reassignment and work shifting can be done instantly, if one person doesn’t want to do one part of the project, that can easily be shifted to another person with a mobile device looking to do that work. This distributed model can lead to a substantial cost reduction without any decrease in work quality. It all boils down to proper programming and task description and division at the app level. The global outsourcing industry is definitely ripe for mobile disruption. I wonder which company will make this happen.