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Offshore Outsourcing of IT Work

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Offshore Outsourcing of IT Work

Client and Supplier Perspectives

Palgrave Macmillan,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Outsourcing your firm’s information technology to offshore sites can save big money, but can also present big problems.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
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For many companies, the outsourcing of information technology offshore has proven to be a mixed bag. It normally (though not always) saves money, but it also can harm productivity and may jeopardize efficiency and service quality. Researchers Mary C. Lacity and Joseph W. Rottman examine IT offshore outsourcing and, quite responsibly, shun preconceived notions. Instead, they present what they’ve learned from comprehensive interviews with hundreds of outsourcing professionals on both the client and supplier sides. They’ve gathered the wide perspectives and drawn reliable conclusions in this thorough if academically written presentation. getAbstract recommends this impressive, scholarly book to CEOs, CFOs and CIOs, as well as to technology professionals and policy makers. It’s a challenging read, given its professional level, but if this is your field the extra effort is completely worthwhile.


The Benefits of IT Offshore Outsourcing

Information technology offshore outsourcing rests on a simple premise and a great promise: Because you can easily transfer digitized files wherever and whenever you want, you can distribute your IT work anywhere in the world to achieve reduced costs, “sunrise-to-sunrise production,” mitigated risk, fast delivery and acceptable, or even improved, quality. Outsourcing options include hiring an offshore supplier – or several, staffing your own offshore “captive center” and conducting joint ventures with local organizations around the world.

While companies of all sizes can benefit from IT offshore outsourcing, many find it difficult to optimize their outsourcing activities. They outsource IT to reduce costs but do not attain the savings they seek because of increased transaction costs. Suppliers’ staff turnover also can cause quality problems, slow delivery or lack of efficiency. As a result, outsourcing clients may report mixed results with their offshoring attempts.

Companies that do well with offshore outsourcing are particularly attentive to all the details of their outsourcing programs and insist on the same level of ...

About the Authors

Mary C. Lacity is a professor of information systems at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where Joseph W. Rottman is an associate professor of information systems.

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