The Strategic Advantage of Outsourcing with Erlang and Elixir

We’re in the midst of some rapid technological changes (AI, IoT, machine learning etc) and businesses are facing new obstacles. There is now a demand to balance company time and budgets amid all day-to-day responsibilities. Because of this, outsourcing services have become a strategic move for many. 

Let’s look into how Erlang and Elixir programming languages help with business outsourcing. We’ll discuss their expertise in security, scalability and flexibility and how they support business goals.

Understanding the importance of outsourcing

Before we get into its benefits, it’s important to understand the growing importance of outsourcing tech for businesses. Gartner describes outsourcing as a way to “deliver IT-enabled processes, application services, and infrastructure solutions for business outcomes.” 

According to the global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market, outsourcing reached $280.64bn in 2023 and is projected to grow 9.6% from 2024 to 2030.

This rise is driven by digital transformation, a focus on cost optimisation, and the increasing demand for specialised services. Companies are focusing more on efficiency and agility for long-term success. Outsourcing provides that much-needed flexibility. They are able to leverage top-tier expertise, without the need for full-time in-house commitment. 

Improved compliance and security

All businesses have sensitive data. To manage this, it must be understood that compliance and security go hand in hand. Compliance is all about adhering to standards and regulations within a given sector. These sectors are external laws (regulatory compliance) and internal policies (corporate compliance). Some of the most common include:

External laws:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – European Union regulation.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – Global standards for credit card information.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – U.S. law for health data privacy and security.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) – U.S. law for financial reporting and auditing standards for public companies.
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – California state law, improving consumer privacy rights.
  • Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) – Chinese law, regulating the protection of personal information.

Internal policies:

  • Data Security Policies – Guidelines to secure sensitive information within organisations.
  • IT Security Standards – Standards for maintaining the security of IT systems and networks.
  • Access Control Policies – Policies to define access rights to data and systems, based on roles and responsibilities.
  • Data Retention and Disposal Policies – Rules that govern the retention and secure disposal of data.
  • Incident Response Plans – Procedures for responding to and mitigating data breaches or security incidents.

These are all designed to safeguard organisational data and systems from breaches and misuse.

Leveraging functional programming for enhanced security

An important benefit of Erlang and Elixir and functional languages lies in their flexibility. They focus on code clarity and predictability, which is important for providing enhanced security. So even if your business is operating on the most complex of systems, both languages allow for clear and easy testing. This allows developers to identify and rectify any system vulnerabilities effectively.

Another feature of a functional programming language is immutability, meaning it cannot change once created. For businesses, it ensures that data integrity is maintained, preventing any unauthorised changes to the system.

Encryption support

Both languages excel in handling concurrent connections and processes. This is crucial for environments where multiple devices are needed to communicate simultaneously, without performance bottlenecks.

Erlang and Elixir are equipped with powerful libraries that support industry-standard encryption protocols. It allows developers to implement strong encryption mechanisms quickly and effectively. This safeguards precious business data against unauthorised access and breaches.

Their strengths collectively ensure that business devices can communicate securely and reliably. Business data is supported and protected without compromise. To learn more about encryption support, take a look at our five tips to ensure business security.

Cost management 

According to Deloitte, the top reason (70%) for business outsourcing is cost reduction. Outsourcing ensures that you are only paying for the services you need when you need them, leading to cost management and savings. 

Businesses are paying external providers to:

  • Maintain their systems and carry out required tasks 
  • Save them money on upfront costs – especially when starting a new business or project. 
  • Advise on the most cost-effective systems and configure their systems to better suit your needs.

Concerns over training expenses, workspaces, and further equipment are also alleviated, as your team already has the necessary resources to maintain your systems.

Cost-effectiveness in Elixir 

Elixir’s expressive syntax and the high developer productivity of Phoenix and LiveView can deliver more with less code, in less time, and with smaller teams. Its modern language features, such as pattern matching and powerful metaprogramming capabilities, enhance developer efficiency and reduce the complexity of codebases. The concurrency model inherited from Erlang allows for efficient handling of many simultaneous tasks, which can lead to cost savings on infrastructure. Also, its vibrant community and extensive libraries allow for rapid development and quick problem-solving. This is another great pro for businesses as it further reduces development time and associated costs.

Cost-effectiveness in Erlang

Erlang’s lightweight process model allows developers to handle numerous simultaneous operations with minimal resource consumption. This leads to significant infrastructure cost savings. 

The language’s robust error-handling capabilities and “let it crash” philosophy simplify the development of reliable, self-healing systems, reducing the need for extensive debugging and maintenance efforts. Erlang’s mature ecosystem and extensive libraries also enable developers to quickly implement complex features, decreasing development time and allowing smaller teams to achieve more with less. This overall efficiency translates into lower long-term operational and development costs for businesses.

Specialised Erlang and Elixir expertise 

Businesses that outsource their tech stack get value for money in expertise. Outsourcing provides a range of skills and knowledge of a dedicated team.

Expertise is one of the largest benefits of outsourcing your Erlang and Elixir. Erlang in particular has been around for over two decades, so businesses have the added benefit of known reliability and an established reputation.

The rise of Elixir in the programming language space has been impressive, to say the least. It leverages the strengths of the Erlang Virtual Machine (BEAM). So while it hasn’t been around for as long as Erlang, it has inherited the same fault-tolerant, concurrent and distributed computing capabilities.

The expertise of developers alleviates dealing with complex technical issues, resulting in improved operational efficiency, cost savings, and a stronger competitive edge in the market.

Focus on core business activities

Businesses outsource to concentrate on their competencies and strategic initiatives. They are reducing time-consuming tasks, which allows their internal teams to focus on core business activities. 

This enhanced focus can lead to higher productivity, improved quality, and scope for accelerated innovation.

Erlang and Elixir support

Here are just some examples of how Erlang and Elixir support business focus:

Scalability and performance

Both languages are designed to handle levels of concurrency with ease. This allows businesses to seamlessly build and maintain applications, in line with increasing demand. It frees up time to focus on growth instead of worrying about the limitations of infrastructure.

For more on the benefits of scalability, you can check out our post on scalable systems. 

Fault tolerance

Erlang and Elixir have built-in features for fault tolerance, such as supervision trees and isolated processes. This allows applications built within either language to recover almost from failures. It reduces downtime and allows businesses to run smoothly without manual intervention.

Model of a supervision tree 

Rapid development

Elixir in particular shines in this department. Leveraging its productivity on Erlang’s underlying BEAM virtual machine, it provides a much more readable syntax and metaprogramming, allowing for faster development cycles which in turn, enables a faster time to market.

Maintainable code

We have already touched on the functional nature of both Erlang and Elixir. It encourages clear, modular, and maintainable code. This allows businesses to easily update and extend their applications, reducing the risk of bugs and improving the overall long-term maintainability.

Making a case for outsourcing

We’ve shown how utilising Erlang and Elixir can provide a host of strategic advantages for businesses. These languages provide expertise, enhanced security, cost-effective solutions, and scalability that allow businesses to offload day-to-day activities to concentrate on the bigger picture. If you’d like to learn more about how to make the most of your existing Erlang and Elixir tech stack, feel free to drop the team a line.

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