Survey of IT Outsourcing Experiences in US and UK Organizations

Survey of IT Outsourcing Experiences in US and UK Organizations

Mary C. Lacity (University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA) and Leslie P. Willcocks (Oxford University, UK)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2000040101
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The global IT outsourcing market is estimated to exceed $121 billion by the year 2001. To assess current market practices and experiences, a survey was distributed to 600 US and UK CIOs. The 101 US and UK respondents are generally pleased with information technology (IT) outsourcing. In particular, respondents rated overall supplier performance as "good", respondents mostly realized the benefits they expected from IT outsourcing, and respondents characterized the majority of problems/issues as only "minor" in nature. The healthy IT outsourcing report card is likely explained by the scope and type of IT outsourcing practiced by responding organizations. The vast majority of respondents pursue selective outsourcing which is less risky than total outsourcing. Most respondents also use multiple suppliers rather than a single supplier, which allows for best-of-breed supplier selection. The healthy report card may also be explained by the types of IT activities selected for outsourcing. Respondents generally targeted IT infrastructure activities-such as disaster recovery, mainframe operations, network management, midrange operations, PC support, and help desk operations-rather than IT development or IT strategy. UK and US practices and outcomes were very similar, although a few exceptions are noteworthy. On average, UK organizations (30%) totally insourced IT more frequently than US organizations (8%). US organizations (29%) more frequently used a single supplier than UK organizations (9%). UK organizations (50%) use only one stakeholder to negotiate/define contracts compared to US organizations (9%). Differences may be explained by a more matured approach to outsourcing in the USA together with the higher preponderance of larger deals and organizations studied. Findings are compared to prior survey and case study research.

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