Global Sourcing of IT Services: Necessary Evil or Blessing in Disguise?
Firms use information systems to reduce the costs of doing business and create innovative applications and products for competitive advantage. IT outsourcing, often to overseas locations, appears to have accomplished efficiency improvements. However, firms increasingly employ global sourcing of IT services for other purposes, such as to broaden the scope of provided services and for strategic considerations. Given the complexities of emergent forms of global IT sourcing – away from arm’s length transactions and toward highly integrated relationships – the purpose of this panel, originally presented at the 2006 International Conference on Information Systems, was to shed light on the issue of global sourcing of IT services by examining three interrelated questions: 1) Is this more about efficiency or strategic considerations? 2) What new conceptual frameworks and theory bases are appropriate for studies of global IT sourcing? and 3) What skills are required of managers and what should we be teaching our students?