Georg Hodosi
Georg Hodosi

This thesis investigates large private companies in Sweden that have outsourced their information technology (IT). A considerable proportion of IT outsourcing (ITO) is unsuccessful. For IT service buyers, this could cause IT that does not fully work, entailing problems with the network, application, infrastructure and security, with serious consequences such as a loss of customers’ confidence and significantly increased costs. Therefore, the main research goal was to analyse and define ways to improve ITO for buyer organizations. This main research goal was accomplished through three research goals that are the followings: 1) To develop a method for risk assessment in IT outsourcing; 2) To identify the important factors in IT outsourcing relationship; and 3) To identify the success factors in IT outsourcing.                      

The research strategies applied in conducting this research were design science research and survey research. To achieve the first research goal, a method was developed for assessing the ITO risks, including support for mitigating these risks. This method could help both researchers and practitioners in estimating the ITO risks and in this way improve ITO. An application based on the developed method was used to facilitate the testing of this method by several ITO decision makers in large companies concerning its usability, correctness and functionality. Moreover, a study was performed to explore ITO decision makers’ acceptance of the developed method and their use of it for assessing the ITO risks.            

The second research goal investigated how to improve service buyers’ ITO relationship with their providers. A well-working ITO relationship is a critical determinant of successful ITO and is relevant to the whole ITO life cycle. This research goal was achieved by identifying and analysing the most important factors in ITO relationships, including a prioritized list of those factors that are highly recommended for use in creating and maintaining a good ITO relationship.                      

The third research goal examined how to improve ITO by identifying and prioritizing the success factors (SFs) in ITO. This research identified the ITO SFs in large companies and provided a prioritized list of them to be applied in these companies with a description of the value that they could create from implementation during the ITO life cycle. Moreover, the SFs identified in large companies were compared with those identified in medium-sized companies, which could give an indication to the researchers in this field that company size matters in regard to the implementation order of the identified SFs.              

In summary, the research presented in this thesis contributes with: 1) a method for assessing the risks of outsourcing IT and, in the case that IT has been outsourced, suggested ways to mitigate them; 2) the important factors that could improve ITO relationships and 3) a prioritized list of success factors that could improve IT outsourcing.

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