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Information Technology Outsourcing and its Risks: Supplier lock-in, Hidden costs and the loss of control over Outsourced IT (Management Project)

Nowadays, information technology outsourcing (ITO) represents an established business practice in which a considerable number of companies are involved. Since the success of ITO is highly dependent on the exposure to ITO risks, studying the very risks is of great importance. The aim of this thesis consists in revealing the occurrence of specific ITO risks: supplier lock-in, hidden costs and the loss of control over outsourced IT.

Further aims of this work are the revelation of measures which can be taken in order to face these risks and of the influences these risks have on backsourcing considerations. The first part of this thesis constitutes the theoretical framework which is based on the review of relevant literature. Within this part of the work, transaction cost theory and resource-based theory are presented and applied for the discussion of the specific ITO risks under consideration.

Furthermore, a multidimensional approach is utilized in order to illustrate the various dimensions of ITO. By this means, the identification of situations in which the ITO risks under consideration appear is enabled. The empirical part of this exploratory research is based on a multiple case study. The data necessary for this qualitative research was gathered from telephone interviews conducted with both ITO clients and IT suppliers.

The results of this study indicate that the ITO risks under consideration all pose considerable threats to ITO operations and that there are both internal and external measures ITO companies can take in order to face these risks. Furthermore, the risks under discussion influence backsourcing considerations.
Source: Mid Sweden University
Author: Blyth, Domenico

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