The Outsourced Information Systems Failure (OISF)
31/01/2012 1 Comment
Despite the many success stories showing the advantages of bringing IT into organizations, it is widely accepted that the processes of designing, developing and implementing IT are burdensome and not undemanding. Both recent and previous reports show that IS projects frequently fail. Broad and elaborate research on IS failures has been conducted for more than four decennia. Practitioners and expert witnesses frequently report IS failures in SMEs as well as in large companies.
IS failures can be divided into expectation and termination failures. Expectation failures can be further categorized into correspondence, process and interaction failures. Correspondence failures occur when information systems are evaluated in terms of previously defined design objectives. A lack of correspondence between design objectives and evaluation is seen as a failure. Process failures occur when there is unsatisfactory development performance, i.e. failure to produce a workable system or to deliver within the budget constraints of time and costs. Process failures are sometimes called ‘runaways’ or escalating projects. Interaction failures represent the mismatch between requirements and user acceptance. An interaction failure appears when an information system is not used. In summary, an expectation failure is the inability of an information system to meet the expectations of the stakeholders. There is a more pragmatic concept of failure and that is the termination failure. An IS failure only occurs when the development process or the operation of an information system causes dissatisfied stakeholders to abandon the project.
We argue that there is an extra dimension to IS failures that is not fully explained covered by those descriptive models, which we call the outsourced IS Failure (OISF). An OISF is a failure that occurs during an IS project in an outsourced environment. We focus thereby on project management. Some have already pointed out that outsourcing increases the risks that lead to IS.
If you want to read more about the OISF we can refer to the Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation (EJISE).