Australian businesses continue to outsource online services

Australian businesses, much like the rest of the world, have found that outsourcing many activities that can be done online is turning out to be quite lucrative for business.

Global freelancing company oDesk says Australian enterprises are increasingly outsourcing tasks online as the company passes $US1 billion worth of projects.

Matt Cooper, vice president of enterprise and international at oDesk, told StartupSmart blog that passing the project work milestone is a sign that outsourcing work online has entered the mainstream.

“It’s a big thing for us to break that one billion barrier milestone, but the bigger story is that online work is officially out of beta,” Cooper says. “It’s very early still, but it’s a nice recognition that this is really starting to break into the mainstream.”

The figures released by oDesk show Australians have been outsourcing both technical and non-technical tasks over the last two years.

“This is driven by the huge demand for technical talent. I’m in San Francisco but everywhere you go you see articles about the Australian tech talent shortage,” Cooper says.

Outsourcing growth by the numbers:

  • Game development – outsourcing has grown by 437%
  • Engineering and technical design – outsourcing has grown by 276%
  • Mobile app development – outsourcing has grown by 258%
  • Human resources – outsourcing has grown by 227%
  • Payroll and recruiting – outsourcing has grown by 227%
  • legal – outsourcing has grown by 267%.

“The growth in Australians outsourcing legal was an interesting one for us,” Cooper says. “As more and more companies look to grow internationally, they need legal support and talent in a range of countries.”

Cooper says the growth across non-technical tasks in Australia is part of a worldwide trend.

“It’s indicative of a broader trend that online work is no longer tech. When you look at our business in 2008 and 2009, it was almost entirely technical work, but we’ve seen rapid expansion into legal, finance, writing and translations,” Cooper says.

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