Essays on Outsourcing Information Technology in the Public Sector in Saudi Arabia Research Paper

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

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.


Acharya, P & Mahanty, B 2007, ‘Manpower shortage crisis in Indian information technology industry’, International Journal of Technology Management, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 235-47.

Alkhiary, A 2012, ‘Public private partnership model in Saudi Arabia’, e-government Model, pp. 1-72, viewed 1 May 2013, .

Alshehri, M &Drew, S 2010, ‘Challenges of e-government services adoption in Saudi Arabia form an e-ready citizen perspective’, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, vol. 42, pp. 1038-1045.

Al-Shehry, A 2008, ‘Transformation towards e-government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: technological and organisational perspectives’, Thesis – The School of Computing, CCSR De Montfort University,

Al-Shehry, A, Rogerson, S, Fairweather, N B & Prior, M 2006, ‘The motivations for change towards e-government adoption: case studies from Saudi Arabia’, eGovernment Workshop’ 06 (eGov06), September 11, Brunnel University, West London, pp. 1-21.

Al-Sudairy, M 1994, ‘A Strategic approach to developing information systems in the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia’, Unpublished PhD thesis, London School of Economics, University of London

American Society of Clinical Oncology 2008, ‘The pros and cons of outsourcing technology’, Journal of Oncology Practice, vol. 4, no.3, pp. 126-127

Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) 2011, ‘IT report 2010: on the internet ecosystem in Saudi Arabia’, pp. 1-39.

Currie, W 1995, ‘Outsourcing the new IT strategy’, In W Currie (Ed), Management for IT: An International Perspective, Pitman Publishing, London.

Feeney, K, Cahir, J & Goodbody, L 2013, ‘An obvious option?’ The Public Sector Magazine, pp. 115-117.

Globerman, W & Vining, A R 2004, ‘The outsourcing decision: a strategic framework’, European Management Journal, March, pp. 2-30.

Hancox, M & Hackney, R 1999, ‘Information technology outsourcing: conceptualising practise in the public and private sector’, Proceedings of the 32nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, pp. 1-15.

Hintaya, H & Ahmad, F 2012, ‘Information technology outsourcing reasons and risks: case studies of two Saudi Arabian contracting companies’,International Conference on Management, Behavioral Sciences and Economics Issues (ICMBSE'2012) Penang, Malaysia, pp. 155-158.

Intellect’s Information Management and Security Group (IIMSG) 2011, ‘Data protection and data security guidelines for off shoring and outsourcing- second edition’, pp. 1-48, viewed 2 May 2013, .

Khalfan, A M & Gough, T G 2003, ‘The IS/IT outsourcing phenomenon in the public sector of a developing country. An exploration of critical issues’, In Advanced topics in global information management, pp. 173-206, IGI Publishing, Hershey, PA.

Khalfan, A & Gough, T G 2002, ‘Comparative analysis between the public and private sectors on the IS-IT outsourcing practices in a developing country: a field study’, Logistics Information Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 212-22.

Khalfan, A M 2003, ‘A case analysis of business process outsourcing project failure profile and implementation problems in a large organisation of a developing nation’, Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 9, No. 6, pp. 745-759.

Lacity, M & Hirschheim, R 1995, ‘The information systems outsourcing bandwagon’, MIT Sloan Management Review, vol. 35, no.1, pp. 73-86.

Lee, M O 1995, ‘IT outsourcing contracts: practical issues for management’, pp. 1-17.

Leszczynski, K 2008, ’Outsourcing business to India & the Third- world Countries’, William Gallagher Associates White Paper, pp. 1-7.

Ling, G, Konana, P & Tanriverdi, H 2004, ‘global sourcing and value chain unbundling’, California Management Review, Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 9-23.

McCray, S 2008, ‘The top 10 problem with outsourcing implementations (and how to overcome them’, Technology partners International, Inc., pp. 1-12.

Mohamed, I R, Shankar, R & Banwet, D K 2008, ‘Creating flex-lean-agile value chain by outsourcing: An ISM-Based interventional roadmap’, Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 338-389.

O’Flynn, J 2012, ‘To outsource or not to outsource? It all depends...’The Conversation, viewed 1 May 2013,

Overby, S 2009, ‘IT outsourcing: why you need to re-engineer your SLAs’, CIO Magazine, viewed 2 May 2013, <>.

Overby, S n.d., ‘Outsourcing definition and solutions’, CIO Magazine, viewed 2 May 2013, .

Quinn, J & Hilmer, F G 1994, ‘Strategic sourcing’, Sloan Management Review, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 43-55.

Rajan, R S & Srivastava, S 2007, ‘Global outsourcing of services: issues and implications, Harvard Asia Pacific Review, pp. 39-40.

Richmond, W & Seidman, A 1991, ‘outsourcing and contractual issues in the system development life’, Working Paper, University of Rochester, NY.

Singh, S & Zack, M H 2006, ‘Information technology outsourcing: reducing costs or knowledge?’ OLCK Conference, Warwick Coventry, presented on 20-22 March 2006, pp. 1-31.

Sohail, M S 2011, ‘Sustaining competitiveness through information technology outsourcing: evidence from an emerging nation’, Competitive Review: An International Business Journal, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 369-381.

Tholons 2010, ‘Government sector outsourcing: transforming public service with outsourced IT services’, pp. 1-20, viewed 2 May 2013, <>.

Walsham, G 1995, ‘Interpretive case studies in IS research: nature and method’, European Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 74-81.

Wargin J & Dobiey D 2001, ‘E-business and change: Managing the change in the digital economy’, Journal of Change Management, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp 72-82.

Whang, S 1992, ‘Contracting for software development’, Management Science, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 307-324.

Williamson, O 1979, ‘transaction-cost economics: the governance of contractual relations’, Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 22, no.2, pp. 233-262.

Yamin, M & Tsaramirsis, G 2012, ‘Cloud economy & its implications for Saudi Arabia’, pp. 1-9, viewed 2 May 2013, .

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us