These examples of work components are relatively easy to outsource and offer moderate risks as well as decent cost benefits.

1. Security/Availability Monitoring. This may include activities such as monitoring production system availability, third-party performance testing, intrusion detection, and ethical hacking.

2. Database Administration. Outsourcing a broad set of DBA tasks—in particular, supporting uptime of critical systems—could be extremely cost-effective.

3. Functional Testing. Outsourcing functional testing provides flexibility and price performance. The key is to outsource some portions of testing while both retaining in-house acceptance and investing in knowledge retention and transfer.

4. Usability Testing. When outsourced, this task can provide independent and objective feedback, which can be difficult to achieve internally.

5. Graphical Arts and Other Creative Tasks. A huge supply of high-quality freelance and offshore talent costs a fraction of local design firms or internal staff.

6. Technical Support. Certain elements of technical support, both internal and external, lend themselves well to third-party delivery.

7. Search Engine Optimization. SEO requires specialized knowledge, which can be widely available from many third parties at reasonable rates.

8. Software Maintenance and Sustenance. Outsourcing these “less glorious” tasks is very effective, especially when you have a large legacy product to support.

9. Reporting. Developing custom reports can be a serious drain on employees, and offloading this task to a third party can pay off.

10. Technology Migration. Moving code to a newer version of .NET platform, changing the underlying database, and moving from COBOL to Java can be perfect candidates for outsourcing.

Source: Working Together: Finding the Right Outsourcing Mode