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Understanding transition performance during offshore IT outsourcing

Understanding transition performance during offshore IT outsourcing Purpose – Within an IT outsourcing relationship, transition represents a critical and complex phase that starts immediately after contract signing. Transition involves handing over outsourced activities from client firm to service provider firm and accompanies a new way of operating. The purpose of this paper is to determine and detail factors influencing the performance of transition phase within global IT outsourcing relationships. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the authors present a framework for transition performance that includes four factors: transition planning, knowledge transfer, transition governance and retained organization. This framework is tested and enriched by utilizing a single, in‐depth case study involving over 25 interviews with a global offshore IT outsourcing engagement. Findings – It was found that knowledge transfer and transition governance are more critical factors than transition planning and retained organization for transition performance. This was due mainly to two reasons: the critical challenges faced, within the scope of these factors, had higher potential to disrupt transition; and both these factors and their related issues required a significant joint and coordinated effort from client and service provider firms, thereby, making implementation challenging for transition. Originality/value – Practitioners have suggested that over two‐thirds of failed outsourcing relationships are due to transition‐related challenges. This paper represents one of the first in‐depth studies that provides insights from a real‐life global outsourcing engagement, which contributes to and complements existing literature on IT outsourcing by providing a greater understanding of transition. Furthermore, it provides practitioners with insights and best practices that can be used to guide transitions in real‐life engagements. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Understanding transition performance during offshore IT outsourcing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1753-8297
DOI
10.1108/17538291111185449
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Within an IT outsourcing relationship, transition represents a critical and complex phase that starts immediately after contract signing. Transition involves handing over outsourced activities from client firm to service provider firm and accompanies a new way of operating. The purpose of this paper is to determine and detail factors influencing the performance of transition phase within global IT outsourcing relationships. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the authors present a framework for transition performance that includes four factors: transition planning, knowledge transfer, transition governance and retained organization. This framework is tested and enriched by utilizing a single, in‐depth case study involving over 25 interviews with a global offshore IT outsourcing engagement. Findings – It was found that knowledge transfer and transition governance are more critical factors than transition planning and retained organization for transition performance. This was due mainly to two reasons: the critical challenges faced, within the scope of these factors, had higher potential to disrupt transition; and both these factors and their related issues required a significant joint and coordinated effort from client and service provider firms, thereby, making implementation challenging for transition. Originality/value – Practitioners have suggested that over two‐thirds of failed outsourcing relationships are due to transition‐related challenges. This paper represents one of the first in‐depth studies that provides insights from a real‐life global outsourcing engagement, which contributes to and complements existing literature on IT outsourcing by providing a greater understanding of transition. Furthermore, it provides practitioners with insights and best practices that can be used to guide transitions in real‐life engagements.

Journal

Strategic Outsourcing: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 22, 2011

Keywords: Strategic outsourcing; Information technology; Outsourcing; Transition management; IT offshoring; IT outsourcing; Governance

References