Chapter 4. Strategies that Work

There are four main options when it comes to offshore outsourcing:

  1. Offshore partner (third party)

    1. Fixed-price short-term engagement, often a one-off project. Advantage: fulfill a specific a need, paying only for what you get. Disadvantage: staff members may be unavailable for future projects or for follow-up.

    2. Staff augmentation, long-term focus (retainer-based, dedicated team). Advantage: build knowledge in the team, have resources at hand any time. Disadvantage: fluctuation of work load, fixed cost even if time not used.

  2. Captive (establishing your own subsidiary)

  3. Acquisition

  4. Build-operate-transfer (BOT)

The opportunities and risks of each model are outlined in Exhibit 4.1. This exhibit is intended as a suggested primary decision matrix, but by no means pretends to be comprehensive as the grounds for decision-making will vary from one enterprise to another.

Table 4.1. Preliminary Decision Matrix Based on Suggested Advantages and Disadvantages (i.e., Opportunities vs. Risks of Offshoring Outsourcing Strategies)

Strategy Option

Suitable for




  • Organizations with market strength and available capital

  • Strategic outsourcing market

  • Customized model, 100% based on actual business needs

  • Intellectual property (IP) control

  • Knowledge management

  • Retain training investment

  • Cultural fit

  • Build strong market presence

  • High initial investment

  • Ongoing capital expenses

  • Requires local knowledge


  • Organizations with market strength and ...

Get Source Code China: The New Global Hub of IT (Information Technology) Outsourcing now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.