in 2006 by Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited
0-07-059756-1; 278 pages
Hindupur V. Ramakrishna, Ph.D.
University of Redlands, hindupur_ramakrishna _at_ redlands.ed
In a recent Business Week column (July 24, 2006), Jack Welch
and Suzy Welch say the question is not how do we stop
outsourcing, but how do we use outsourcing to enhance competitiveness
in what is, and forever will be, a global marketplace.
Thus, offshoring IT services is here to stay and grow.
With Tom Friedmans The World is Flat (2005) book
on the NY Times best sellers list for many weeks and with nonstop
coverage on news about offshoring in the public media, the interest
in the topic is quite high. However, the body of literature/knowledge
on successful offshoring is far from mature. This book
is an attempt to add to that body of knowledge. Any organization
that is considering offshoring IT services or struggling with
offshored projects should find this book useful.
to the author, this book is meant to be a how to
book on facilitating and succeeding in offshored initiatives.
The author draws on relevant literature wherever necessary and
presents an offshoring management framework. Due to the
limited literature available in this topic area, the authors
extensive experience in (offshored projects) form the basis
for most of the concepts and discussions in the book.
The book mostly focuses on what issues need to be considered
and how they should be considered in order to insure
success of offshored projects. In this regard, the book
falls a little short of truly being a how to book.
However, it is important to note that this shortfall can be
mostly attributable to a lack of mature literature in the topic
area and not to a lack knowledge/effort on the part of the author.
has ten chapters divided into three sections. Most chapters
start with a link to the material presented in the previous
chapter, an introduction to the discussion that follows, and
end with a conclusion section. At the end of the book
there are two appendices one on offshoring trends and
positioning and the other on offshoring models.
first section, consisting of the first two chapters, provides
an overview of offshoring and outsourcing: its historical development,
justification, and different models. This is just a good
summary of materials from published sources, and is useful reading
for anyone who has not kept up with developments in outsourcing/offshoring
during the last decade.
second section, chapters three through eight, is the major contribution
of the author. In chapter three the author introduces
his Offshoring Management Framework (OMF). Chapters
four through eight are used to develop and present the different
parts/layers of the model: governance layer, management layer,
project execution layer, and communication layer. By devoting
only a part of chapter three to the governance layer, chapter
four to management layer, chapters five through seven to project
execution layer, and chapter eight to communication layer the
author implicitly assigns different levels of importance to
each of the layers. The discussions are supported by links
to the existing literature and through anecdotes and case studies.
three, chapters nine and ten, presents a discussion of the global
environment (for IT services) and a discussion of a potpourri
of issues that must be considered in the environment for success
of offshored projects. Such issues as technology landscape,
emerging techniques, and digital security and offshoring are
discussed here. Most of this work in this section is again
a summary of materials from published sources.
the material presented in the book is well researched and the
book presents a new framework for management of offshored projects.
Conceptual development and discussion of the framework is presented
well and is supported by some prior literature and extensive
anecdotal evidence. Thus the book adds considerably to
the exiting sparse body of knowledge in the topic area.
The author should be commended for tackling a complex issue
and for developing a new framework.
there is one major problem with the book. The author indicates
that the book will be of direct relevance to IT executives
and program managers, client managers, business executives,
academicians and researchers, business graduates and MBA students,
and trainees at software service organizations. This
is too broad a focus and thus results in the content in the
book that wanders considerably. This is also a reason
for a lack of connectivity between the different sections of
the book. In addition, the author liberally uses boxes
(of text) in each chapter to present synthesis of some specific
writing/research, personal anecdotes, classified Ads, E-mail
communication, and personal opinions/notes. Though these
could add value to the discussions of the author, they are not
well integrated with the chapter material and in turn become
distractions. If the author had focused mostly on the
framework and discussions on why and how the framework is valuable
it would make a much better book for a focused audience of IT
executives, project and program managers, and client managers.
Hindupur V. Ramakrishna
is an Associate Professor of IT in the School of Business, University
of Redlands, Redlands, California. His teaching and research
interests include IT strategy, IT personnel issues, and E-business.
in Journal of Information Technology Cases and Applications
JITCAR-Vol 8-No 3]