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Twenty Practices for Offshore Sourcing

Joseph W. Rottman, Mary C. Lacity


Offshore outsourcing of IT work has generated quite a controversy, with some saying it is stealing U.S. jobs, others stating that it is improving the U.S. economy, and still others claiming that all the studies are biased, one way or the other. Based on our past research of domestic outsourcing, and the best practices we uncovered, we've now studied offshoring as well. We found five practices that apply equally to both domestic and off-shore, ten practices that are more important to offshore, and five practices unique to offshore sourcing. The practices unique to offshore include giving customers a choice of sourcing locations, elevating the customer's Capability Maturity Model certification to work better with off-shore suppliers, managing bottlenecks to relieve the substantial time zone differences, and waiting to establish the ideal inhouse/onsite/offshore ratio until the relationship has stabilized. Together, the 20 practices can help CIOs swiftly move through the learning curve, mitigate risks, work with offshore suppliers, and achieve satisfactory costs and service levels.

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ISSN 1540-1960