The purpose of this paper is to understand the roles various drivers such as cost, strategy and risk play when business process outsourcing/information technology enabled services (BPO/ITES) firms in India outsource their information technology (IT) functions to third-party vendors. If all key drivers associated with IT outsourcing were understood, and such knowledge of those variables was incorporated into the reasons for outsourcing, there would be a greater probability of a successful outcome.
A “hybrid” (quantitative and qualitative) research methodology was used to gain insight into the IT-outsourcing paradigm by BPO/ITES firms in India. A structured questionnaire related to IT-outsourcing activities conducted from 1999 to 2010 was distributed to nine firms. The resulting data were then analyzed. In addition, two Indian BPO/ITES firms that had outsourced their IT to a third-party vendor to cut cost generously granted in-depth information into their IT-outsourcing paradigm and life cycle.
IT outsourcing is perhaps more complicated than other types of outsourcing. Focussing purely on cost is very risky. Practitioners need to take all three drivers – cost, strategy and risk into consideration. Any degradation of services or responsibilities due to IT outsourcing would mean a very unhappy client or even loss of business.
BPO/ITES firms in India tend to focus only on cost reduction from IT outsourcing without taking into consideration other equally important drivers such as strategy and risk. This paper counsels a holistic approach toward IT outsourcing for a successful outcome. In addition, an IT-outsourcing framework and guide is proposed for practitioners.
Patil, S. and Wongsurawat, W. (2015), "Information technology (IT) outsourcing by business process outsourcing/information technology enabled services (BPO/ITES) firms in India: A strategic gamble", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 60-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-09-2013-0068
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