Oursourcing is the state of affairs in which a party has an objective (better: an expectation) for the realization of a (set of) result(s), where the actual production of these results is expected to be done by a party other than itself.
Essentially, whenever a party has an expectation towards another party, then the production or maintenance of the results associated to that expectation are said to be outsourced to that other party.1
The outsourcing party should provide
- a policy to the other party so that it can (have one or more of its (digital and/or human) employees) produce the expected results in accordance with the intentions of the oursourcing party;
- any production means that the employees of that other party may need to produce these results, insofar this other party cannot or will not provide such means.
Outsourcing introduces risks that are rooted in the principle that every party is autonomous (sorvereing); the result(s) that are expected are produced or maintained outside the scope of control of the party that has the expectation. Thus, the outsourcing party may want to establish a (legally binding) contract with the other party to provide assurances that the other party will (have its employees) follow the guidance of the provided policy, and will use the provided production means.
A party may want to have a capability for revoking credentials that it has issued. There are various ways in which this can be realized, one of which is to use a revocation service that is offered by another party. The results that the party expects the other party to produce, is the provisioning of a service that will ensure that an arbitrary party can check whether a credential that the first party has issued, has been revoked or not.
- One might ask whether or not outsourcing a task to a person is equivalent to onboarding that person, as a person is both a party (to which one can outsource tasks) and an actor (that can be onboarded). And that is precisely how it works: as an actor, it would work for the party that has onboarded it, and that party therefore would assume responsibility (be accountable for) all actions that the person executed on behalf of that party. As a party, the person itself would assume responsibility (be accountable for) all actions that it executes as commissioned by the outsourcing party.↩