The Australian Government`s abandoned infrastructure outsourcing program: what can be learned?

Rouse, Anne and Corbitt, Brian J. 2003, The Australian Government`s abandoned infrastructure outsourcing program: what can be learned?, Australian journal of information systems, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 81-90.

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Title The Australian Government`s abandoned infrastructure outsourcing program: what can be learned?
Author(s) Rouse, Anne
Corbitt, Brian J.
Journal name Australian journal of information systems
Volume number 10
Issue number 2
Start page 81
End page 90
Publisher University of Wollongong
Place of publication Wollongong, N.S.W.
Publication date 2003-05
ISSN 1039-7841
Keyword(s) outsourcing of IS EL07
IS strategic planning EF04
issues in organising IS
EG03 IS Risk management EL08
selective outsourcing
public sector
government outsourcing
case study
Summary Early in 2001, after a damning public report by the Auditor-General, the Australian Federal Government abandoned its highly promoted “whole of government” IT infrastructure outsourcing initiative. This about-face was greeted in the press with reports that the initiative was a “fiasco”. Yet a four-year case study conducted by the authors suggests a more complex picture. Like many other “selective” outsourcers of IT, the Federal Government had been led to believe that it was adopting a relatively low risk strategy that would, if well managed, lead to significant cost savings and operational benefits. Instead, despite having implemented many widely promoted “best practices”, the Federal Government found a substantial discrepancy between what outsourcing promised to deliver, and what was actually achieved. In this respect their experiences were no different from those of many other large IT organizations engaged in selective IT outsourcing, who responded to a substantial contemporaneous survey. This case study examines why the Government’s expectations were not achieved, and arrives at conclusions that have important implications for decision makers confronted with choices about sourcing IT service delivery.
Language eng
Field of Research 080609 Information Systems Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Deakin Business School
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