The paper "Outsourcing Information Technology in the Public Sector in Saudi Arabia" is a perfect example of an information technology research paper. This research paper seeks to find out is IT outsourcing in Saudi Arabia’ s public sector present solution or problems to the running of the public service. Using diverse sources of literature, the paper finds out that although the problems may appear overwhelming, the solutions presented by IT outsourcing are weighty especially considering that there is increased human resource efficiency, and saved costs. The research paper further notes that in an era where governments are increasingly using IT outsourcing in the public sector, most problems facing the public sector are not uniquely Saudi Arabian and sooner, solutions to the same will be found.
The paper further notes that as things stand, it would appear that Saudi’ s IT sourcing in the public sector presents solutions and problems in equal measure. A befitting description would most likely be that IT outsourcing presents solutions, which need to be improved upon if maximum efficiency is to be attained, and problems that arise done away with. Background and Introduction Information technology outsourcing in Saudi Arabia’ s public sector is mainly done as a way of enhancing public-private partnerships.
Moreover, IT outsourcing gives the public sector a channel through which it can transfer some of its risks exposure in managing IT to the private sector (Alkhiary 2012). Outsourcing has been defined variably by different authors; this research paper will adopt the definition of Hintaya and Ahmad (2012, p. 155), who define IT outsourcing as the “ transfer of property knowledge and decision rights in varying degrees, by a user organisation, to an external IT expert organisation” .
Just like corporate organisations, the public sector in Saudi Arabia outsources IT services for reasons such as improving their financial performance and enhancing competitiveness. The success of IT outsourcing or lack thereof often depends on the evaluation and selection of service providers; negotiations by both parties; management directives and relationship-maintaining expertise of the decision-makers involved in the outsourcing process (Hintaya & Ahmad 2012). In a report by Al-Shehry (2008), it was found out that outsourcing awareness was greatest among government establishments with 91.3 percent public institutions aware that they can outsource their call centre services among other functions.
On their part, Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the Large and Very Large (L& VL) corporate enterprises recorded 50% and 71.4% outsourcing services awareness respectively. If awareness is a predictor of service usage, it would be expected that government establishments (commonly known as the public sector) are more inclined to use IT outsourcing services. Notably, the Saudi government has invested heavily in IT as a way of enhancing its service provision to the people. Nevertheless, IT outsourcing mainly becomes necessary where there are budgetary constraints; insufficient IT planning; insufficient training; and absence of qualified people to handle IT-related matters (Al-Sudairy 1994).
Although Saudi Arabia has invested heavily on creating its readiness capacity towards the adoption of IT in the last 30 years, (Al-Sudairy 1994) notes that shortage in the trained workforce is still a major barrier to the effective utilisation of IT. Additionally, a lack of cooperation between public organisations and language barriers (Saudi Arabia is an Arabic speaking country) contribute to the ineffective use of the IT capacity created by the government.
In a study conducted 18 years ago by Alangari (1994, cited by Al-Shehry 2008) in 18 government institutions, it was found out that managers in the public sector showed high levels of IT isolation; had questionable abilities to make use of the IT applications given to them by the government; were less inclined to encourage their subordinates to adopt the use of IT. Although the situation had dramatically changed since Alangari conducted the foregoing research, Al-Shehry (2008) observes that some of the managerial-resistance indicated by Alangari still persists in public institutions making IT outsourcing an ideal way of handling IT applications in such institutions.
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