Localization Strategy Review
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There are as many localization models as there are enterprises. Every company moulds its strategy from a mix of themes. A company's model is a reflection of its maturity, size, affinity with technology, global reach, security needs and resource deployment. Among the themes discernable across the industry; Automation, Out-sourcing, In-sourcing, Off-shoring are common.
Localization strategies move with the development of the company and the industry as a whole. A strategy that served well for many years may not be optimised for the years ahead. As companies and markets develop, strategy re-assessment is important.
Automation encompasses workflow technology, automated building of software or documentation/help, assisted translation though TM technology and/or machine transaltion, Automated QA through scripting, and project management and reporting tools. The principle is that automation brings cost-effective operation, reliability and standardisation of process. This strategy is most visible within larger companies who develop technology as their core product. They are comfortable with the infrastructure and maintainence required with such a strategy, this allows them to leverage proportionally smaller teams to accomodate growth.
Out-sourcing refers to the practice of centrally managing the various activities of the localisation process being performed by vendor companies. This strategy is useful for scaling to meet production peaks while controlling fixed cost. Companies can transfer labour-intensive tasks to vendors usually keeping a project managment function in-house, supplemented by some internal or third-party review mechanism.
In-sourcing is a refinement of out-sourcing where instead of the publisher using localisation vendors as a method of operating in a lower-cost location, they use a division of their own company to perform localisation tasks.
Off-shoring refers to the practice of using vendors based in low cost economies to provide localisation services. This activity has been evident in the localisation industry over the last 10 years as localisation matures and scale has increased pressure on costs.