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Outsourcing, offshoring, insourcing and backsourcing: Sound business decis

By bashir_khan ·
Outsourcing of IT jobs to countries with lower wages has been going on for 15+ years. From a modest start in the early 1990?s, the movement has gradually gained momentum over the past decade and more and more organizations have off-shored significant portions of their IT infrastructure, however, the promises of this business paradigm have remained largely unmet.

Recently, with the changing economic conditions outsourcing, offshoring, insourcing and backsourcing are once again taking center stage. There are many articles published both for and against the above concepts. Many of us in this forum have either been directly or indirectly involved with these concepts and decisions. Having read many articles on the above subject and been directly associated with outsourcing, offshoring, insourcing and backsourcing it has left me and many others with unanswered questions; in this regard I am undertaking a study to determine if the days of achieving savings by outsourcing and offshoring are gone by and a different approach is necessary to remain viable and competitive while protecting the intellectual property of the organization.

The aim of this study is to investigate the three specific areas which have been largely ignored by most academic studies and research efforts. While a lot of attention has been given to the success of off-shoring of IT jobs to countries like India and China, the mounting failures, accelerating costs, intellectual property theft and the associated consequences have been largely ignored by business and academic communities eager to minimize their perceived impact lest their original assumptions be proven significantly flawed.

It is hoped that this analysis will uncover many dimensions to the off-shoring and outsourcing decision that many organizations which are still debating the issue should strongly consider prior to embarking on such a course. A clearer understanding of the reasons for backsourcing should also be gained, along with a much deeper appreciation for the long-term organizational costs and ramifications of an inadequate or flawed outsourcing decision and implementation plan.

To prove or disprove this hypothesis, three surveys will be conducted to collect sufficient data points for proper analysis. Specifically the following three detailed surveys will be conducted.

1. Reasons for the Outsourcing of IT
2. Outsourcing ?Promises Versus Reality
3. Backsourcing and Associated Challenges

The results of the pre-defined questionnaires and surveys may result in detailed follow-up interviews with respondents to gain additional insight into their responses, determine new dimensions of analysis, and uncover additional drivers toward these decisions. It is important to understand that, while the surveys are loosely designed around the three topics, they are not designed nor intended to be solely focused on any one single topic. Responses and questions for each of the three topics will be mixed among the three surveys for triangulation and consistency purposes.

Most of the survey questions are based on a 5 point Likert scale as it provides a way to numerically analyze the information while asking the respondents to rate their favorability of each statement. Once the information is collected a quantitative analysis will be performed.

This study is even more relevant given the changing dynamics of the business and the need for technology to play a critical role in the success of an organization. For example, Baruch Lev of the Brookings Institution reported that from 1982 to 1998 the market value of US companies in the S & P 500 index has seen a significant change between tangible and intangible asset ratio from 62% to 38% tangible to intangible in 1982 to 15% tangible and 85% intangible in 1998. While similar findings have been reported in numerous journals and reports, few if any academicians, scholars, and practitioners have either understood or made the connection of the importance of protecting and stemming the devaluation of U.S. intellectual property.

Finally I believe it is the responsibility of professionals like us to take the lead and demonstrate that IT has both a strategic role to play in the success of the organization and deserves a seat at the executive table as equal partners with the business.

Please help complete the survey; if you encounter any issues completing the surveys themselves or need assistance with any of the questions being asked, please contact me at

The first two of the three surveys can be accessed via the links below. Please copy and paste the following link into your browser to get access to the survey: Survey 3 is being finalized and its link will be posted in the next couple of days.

Reasons for the Outsourcing of IT

Outsourcing ?Promises Versus Reality

Best Regards

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Excellent essay!

by Tig2 In reply to Outsourcing, offshoring, ...

I will suggest that you open your profile to accept peer mail and remove your email address from your post. That way you don't end up on a bunch of spam lists.

I received your email around the holidays but was traveling at the time and unable to respond. I am currently having issues with sending mail since returning home but have not forgotten it. I do intend to speak with you further on this subject as it is an important one that could easily begin impacting IT as soon as this year. I will also be interested in the results of your surveys.

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To anyone planning to take the surveys

by Tig2 In reply to Outsourcing, offshoring, ...

I just completed both of them listed. It was painless and the questions make sense. I think that the results will be fascinating.

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Is everbody's term paper due this week?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Outsourcing, offshoring, ...

End of semester requirements? 50% of the final grade? What's with all the novels lately?

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Wow. That's some paper.

by seanferd In reply to Outsourcing, offshoring, ...

Surprised it didn't get more attention here.

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