Information Systems and Technology Outsourcing: Case Lessons from ‘Travel Track'

Information Systems and Technology Outsourcing: Case Lessons from ‘Travel Track'

Jeremy Rose (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-408-8.ch016
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Abstract

This case concerns an information systems and technology (IS/IT) action research intervention into a train operating company in the newly privatized rail industry in the United Kingdom. Having operated for many years as a nationalized industry under government control, but outside the strictly commercial sector, the new company found itself in the position of having many of its important IS/IT systems being run by separate companies — it was outsourced without ever having made an outsourcing decision. The project involved information management in the maintenance wing of the company. After the event, analysis of the problem situation revealed the extent of the company’s IS/IT management difficulties. Many of these problems were directly attributable to privatization and the outsourcing arrangements imposed upon the new company. The lessons from the case cast serious doubts upon the long-term benefits of outsourcing key systems and are believed to represent a significant learning vehicle relating to IS/IT adoption and exploitation.

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