Information Technology (IT) is an umbrella term which refers to several different industries associated with computers and their networks – ‘computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, engineering, health care, e-commerce’ (according to Wikipedia) – and the list goes on. Information Technology today primarily refers to the Electronic Era – it began back in the 1940s with the then amazing speed of 5000 additions per second by the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator) and today has advanced to a whopping 500,000,000 additions per second. Just gives us an estimate of how fast the IT world is progressing in the present day and age. And a major factor that is doing its bit to help these IT firms grow by leaps and bounds and keep ahead of the ever growing competition is what is known as Translation Outsourcing.
“The market for outsourced language services and supporting technology is immensely important to the organizations and individuals that produce or consume information (refers to those working in the IT sector). We predict that the industry will continue to grow and that the market will increase to US $47 billion (it was US $37.19 billion in 2014) by 2018,” said Vijayalaxmi Hegde, Director of Research Operations at the independent market research firm Common Sense Advisory.
According to a 2014 study carried out by the same firm, the demand for language services continues to grow at an annual rate of 6.23%. Moreover, it comes as no surprise that a big chunk of these services are utilized by IT firms themselves who outsource their translation requirements.
But do IT firms and companies doing business in foreign markets really need to outsource their translation services in order to do well in the global markets? Let’s have a look at these conclusions from a recent Common Sense Advisory market survey:
- Businesses that expanded their translation budgets were 1.5 times more likely than their other Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue.
- The companies that translated information in order to communicate with and retain their partners were 2.67 times more likely to experience revenue increases. They were also 2.6 times more likely to generate improved profits.
It goes without saying that translation is of paramount importance for a business to reach out to its target audience effectively. And when outsourcing is introduced in translation, the benefits of this approach are manifold, especially for IT companies that want to make it big in the global sphere. To put it in a nutshell, here’s why it’s essential for IT firms to outsource their translation needs:
- For cost-effectiveness: Maintaining an internal translation department of their own to cater to the huge loads of information which need to be translated (company documentation, websites, marketing materials, company brochures) is not a feasible option for a majority of IT firms due to it being a capital-intensive strategy (refer to the earlier article in this space – ‘Why you must be Outsourcing your Translation Requirement’).
- Professional translators: Hence, no compromise with the quality of the translated work. The well-trained translators are more often than not experts in both the source as well as the target languages, plus come with the required skill set and experience in using the necessary translation tools, resulting in consistent translation outputs. Be it translation related to marketing, legal, financial spheres or even UI translations, an outsourced Language Service Provider (LSP) will have the most efficient resources to cater to each of these.
- End result just like source material: Albeit in another language. Thanks to the experienced desktop publishing professionals who ensure the final layout of your content looks (and sounds) like the original draft itself. A steady mix of the right software, hardware and the expertise of the translating professional goes into this – possible only with an established LSP and not from an internal translation department or a freelancer working for a particular firm.
- Translation project management: Outsourcing your translation requirements to a translation agency is more than merely getting back the finished translated copy of work. A project manager is generally assigned to an IT firm to handle any queries which may arise at either end – yours or theirs. Right from communicating between various departments to escalating questions and expectations from both sides to even proofreading and budgeting the finished work, an IT professional can sit back and concentrate on other more pressing spheres of work, rest assured that the entire translation process will be taken care of satisfactorily.
- More than plain and simple translation: The IT world has long since moved on from plain textual translation; welcome to the world of multimedia content. And not just translating your multimedia content; language service providers today offer a plethora of post-productions services such as dubbing and audio recording amongst others.
- Last but not the least, translation outsourcing saves time. For, as Benjamin Franklin put it: ‘Time is money.’ No need to put in so much of effort into setting up an internal translation department within your IT firm itself, or hire freelancers who need to be communicated to time and again about what the work entails. Just leave it all to your outsourced LSP and be assured of good quality translated work within the given deadline.
Alphonso Jackson, the erstwhile US Secretary of Housing and Development summed it up very aptly thus: “The other part of outsourcing is this: It simply says where the work can be done outside better than it can be done inside, we should do it.”
Because the only way for IT firms and businesses to successfully go global is to let multilingualism follow. And herein translation outsourcing holds the key.
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