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1 An Introduction to the academic report The aim of this assignment is to explore offshore outsourcing in the information systems IS environment and to understand the approach to achieve competitive advantage through outsourcing To recognize the benefits that make outsourcing a highly regular practice the downsides and the apprehension associated with IS outsourcing and the key steps implementers must take to ensure its success The assignment directly or indirectly views the principle reasons why organizations outsource and how the role of outsourcing has moved from a cost saver to that of strategic importance 2 Outsourcing in the IS environment Gibb 2005 describes IS as a combination of resources that satisfy a set of information handling needs in an enterprise Outsourcing is concerned with the transfer of the production of goods and services that have been carried out internally to an external provider Domberger 1998 Martinsons provides a generic definition to IS outsourcing according to him- Information systems outsourcing is the act of subcontracting all or parts of the IS function to an external vendor as an alternative to relying solely on in house resources and capabilities Today there is a proclivity for scrutinizing different activities of an organizations value chain with the intention to externalize activities that do not form a part of their competitive advantage Ching et al 1996 pp 179 A large number of organizations are focusing on core competencies and looking at moving all non core functions to an external operator Cross 1995 supported the core competence factor when he studied IS outsourcing in the British Petroleum Company Lacity and Hirschheim 1993 proposed the following nomenclature to understand the assortment of outsourcing options Body Shop Outsourcing - A method to meet short term demands used to contract programmerspersonnel managed by employees Project Management Outsourcing - Outsourcing is done for a specific project or a part of the IS work Eg New
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