Information System Outsourcing; Risks, and Risk Management Practices: An Investigation into Some Selected Higher Learning Institutions (Hlis) in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Background: IS outsourcing was one of the major business trends of the 1990s, and remains an important topic. Today, it is a much talked about topic. Organizations view outsourcing as a way to achieve strategic goals, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and provide efficiency and effectiveness improvements. However, like any organizational decision, outsourcing is not free of risk and requires effective management from the outset of the outsourcing evaluation through the life of the contractual relationship. Objective: The main objective of this study was to investigate risks associated with Information Systems (ISs) outsourcing and the management of these risks within the context of HLIs in Ethiopia. Method: The research follows a qualitative research method. For this reason, the research result draws largely from the analysis of the interviews conducted with the various stakeholders in the IS outsourcing process (i.e. executives and other committee members (such as, domain experts and users). After analyzing the interviews, an inductive qualitative research approach was used to draw conclusions. Results: The findings revealed that although respondents of the surveyed HLIs in the country understand what outsourcing information system is about, all the surveyed HLIs have no documented and structured outsourcing strategy or/and policy, program and as well as risk management frameworks for IS outsourcing projects. As a result, their risk management practices depend largely on intuition and previous experience. Furthermore, the findings also revealed that that agreements on SLA requirements and the achievements of these requirements have a paramount significance in the performance monitoring of the outsourced IS functions.



Information System Outsourcing