Course Title: IT Outsourcing Issues and Management

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: IT Outsourcing Issues and Management

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


620H Business IT and Logistics


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010

Course Coordinator: Dr Alemayehu (Alem) Molla

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5803

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 108.17.51

Course Coordinator Availability: Thursday

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Familiarity with basic business information technology and business management concepts.
Students are also required to have the ability to analyse a given question or problem and to be independent and self-directed learners.
To best apply and use the arguments about globalisation to predict the impact of outsourcing, you need to have an understanding of the nature of business, an appreciation of the nature and practice of global business and the importance of new technologies in business and IT strategy and society.

Course Description

This course aims to equip students with skill that will enable them to analyze and manage the economic, technological, strategic and organizational aspects of outsourcing in general and offshoring in particular. Emphasis is on the strategic aspects of outsourcing and on managing outsourcing relationships to ensure business value delivery. The course approaches outsourcing from a socio-technical perspective and will cover issues on both domains. It integrates industry experience and concerns with outsourcing and offshoring to give students a balanced view of the subject and enable them to make informed decisions about operational costs and benefits.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Successful completion of this course indicates that you have developed the following capabilities:

Outsourcing and Business IT Skills
• Build an understanding of the trend of IT outsourcing in general and offshoring in particular
• Assess the impacts of business and policy environments on IT outsourcing and vice versa
• Evaluate various models of IT outsourcing
• Develop skills in strategic IT outsourcing decisions
• Enable students to build their managerial skill of outsourcing projects and relationships
• Explore critical issues in global IT outsourcing
• Apply risk analysis and models to IT out sourcing

Research and analytical skills
You will learn basic research tools for business. You will be required to integrate work and life experiences in completing this course. This will require you to consolidate your research skills by identifying, organising and managing information, determine its importance to and impact on the given task, analyse and reason logically and interpret data and reports to made effective recommendations for business in a global context. You will also develop the capacity to reflect on your learning and understand the implications of your actions.

Problem solving and analytical skills
You will be able to consolidate the problem identification and solving skills you have developed throughout your program in the analysis of situations to identify problems, draw on your cross-disciplinary knowledge to reason logically and to develop plans for action. You will also need to understand the implications of your decisions and their impact on firm performance.

Communication skills
Both written and verbal communication skills will be consolidated in this capstone course in both class activities and assessment tasks

Interpersonal Skills
Your ability to present, discuss and defend your views, together with effective listening will be consolidated in both a class and a team-work environment

Collaboration in an effective team environment
Your ability to effectively contribute to the success of ‘real world’ face to face and virtual teams using research data will consolidate your capacity to negotiate, be flexible in your thinking and understand group dynamics

Capacity to operate independently
A major contribution to your team performance will rely on you developing and then utilising self-management skills.

At the end of the course, students will be able to
• Increase their awareness of the history, current status and future development of outsourcing
• Evaluate various models of IT outsourcing
• Consult on IT outsourcing decisions
• Effectively manage IT outsourcing projects and workforce
• Handle disputes and relationships in IT outsourcing
• Apply relevant risk analysis and methodologies to IT outsourcing
• Analyze organizational experiences in outsourcing and recommend ways to improve current practices
• Discuss the economic, technological, strategic and organizational aspects of outsourcing

Overview of Learning Activities

This course follows a seminar/lecture/ studio scheme of teaching where the lecturer and students collectively resolve outsourcing and IT business problems based on research tools, knowledge about globalisation and IT and business practice to build and then report on resolutions to identified problems.

The learning activities may incorporate lecture, and/or seminar mode and/or studio teaching and learning with a formalised team structure and a self-directed, action-learning process. You will form teams. Each team will be responsible for analysis of specific problems on a weekly and then extended basis. Each team will work in relation to other teams and use the studio setting to work on collective and single-team based resolutions to problems. The studio will also enable students to work in a discussion/IT setting to mirror best practice in global companies. All projects will be reported verbally and in writing and will involve the use of IT technology solutions to reporting.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be advised of the prescribed text for this course and other reading materials upon enrolment.
Information will also be provided online using the Learning Hub of the Distributed Learning System (DLS). The DLS gives access to important announcements; staff contacts details, the teaching schedule, assessment timelines and a variety of important teaching and learning materials. The Learning Hub of the DLS can be found at

• Hirscheim, R, Heinzl, A. and Dibbern, J. (Eds) (2006) Information Systems Outsourcing, Springer.

• Cullen, S. & Willcocks, L. (2004) Intelligent IT Outsourcing: 8 Building Blocks to Success, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd

• Greaver, M. (1999) Strategic Outsourcing: A Structured Approach to Outsourcing Decisions and Initiatives, Amacom

Overview of Assessment

The assessment will reflect the expected learning outcome and will be based on individual and group assessments.