Insider Strategies for Outsourcing Information Systems: Building Productive Partnerships, Avoiding Seductive Traps

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One of the fastest growing industries in America is the outsourcing of information systems, with huge and small companies alike employing contractors to manage their powerful information networks. But how effective is it for executives to hire outsourcers to administer the complicated information systems that are so critical to today's organizations?
As Kathy M. Ripin and Leonard R. Sayles point out, what may seem to executives like the proverbial free lunch--outside experts ...
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Overview


One of the fastest growing industries in America is the outsourcing of information systems, with huge and small companies alike employing contractors to manage their powerful information networks. But how effective is it for executives to hire outsourcers to administer the complicated information systems that are so critical to today's organizations?
As Kathy M. Ripin and Leonard R. Sayles point out, what may seem to executives like the proverbial free lunch--outside experts taking responsibility for the endless vexations associated with information systems management--is far from free. Often, new systems that are supposed to respond effortlessly to managerial commands are over-priced, clumsy, and sometimes useless. Insider Strategies for Outsourcing Information Systems offers executives and managers experience-based guidelines that will enable them to avoid the seductive myths and illusions that distort contractor selection and new system planning decisions. At the heart of the book are three extended cases studies--a famous specialty retailer, a financial services company, and a European telecom company--that highlight the most frequent sources of new system failure, as well as how a client's measured involvement in the process of fine-tuning a new system can bring superb results. In clear and precise language, Ripin and Sayles make explicit the skills and solutions that have proven effective in outsourcing a wide variety information systems, from new application software to enterprise-wide networks.
Today, insatiable corporate expectations, an unforgiving stock market, and a brutal global economy have made it imperative that managers at all levels effectively administer their information networks. Insider Strategies for Outsourcing Information Systems is the book that will help them insure that their businesses survive--and thrive--in the information age.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195125665
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/1/1999
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy M. Ripin has been a user and sponsor of outsourcing contracts in a major financial services company and now heads a consulting firm that specializes in the interaction of new information systems technology and customer service. Leonard T. Sayles, Professor Emeritus of Management, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, has a doctorate from MIT and substantial experience studying the problems of implementing new technologies. His many field research books have become standard reference for executives and MBA students around the world.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The What, Why, and How of Outsourcing Information Systems 3
2 The Tough Dilemmas: Why the Obvious Is So Difficult 15
3 Outsourcing Strategies: Avoiding the Most Frequent Blunders 29
4 Planning and Preparation 39
5 Selecting the Right Outsourcer: Why Contracts Are No Guarantee 61
6 Subcontracting Trends and Pitfalls 89
7 Outsourcing Operations: The Unanticipated Intricacies 103
8 Three Superb Examples of High-Performance Partnerships 125
9 A Nationwide Retailer Discovers the Power of Data Warehousing 129
10 Bringing Imaging Technology to Credit Card Operations 139
11 Solving a Daunting Telecommunications Challenge 165
12 What Clients Need to Know About Systems Development 175
13 How Astute Clients Exercise Leadership 187
14 Project Turnarounds: In Failure Find the Seeds of Success 209
15 Managing Change: Transitioning and Implementation 223
16 Making Line Managers a Critical Component of the Outsourcer Equation 235
17 New Demands on Outsourcing: The Long-Run Perspective 245
Notes 257
Index 263
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