The number of metrics in outsourcing contracts for evaluating the accessibility, reliability and performance of vendors is daunting. How do I correlate those metrics to the value of outsourced IT services?
"Focus on individual outsourcing decisions in IT research has often yielded contradictory ﬁndings and recommendations. To address these contradictions, we investigate a holistic, conﬁgurational approach with the prevailing universalistic or contingency perspectives in exploring the effects of IT outsourcing strategies on outsourcing success. Based on residual rights theory, we begin by identifying three dimensions of IT outsourcing strategies: degree of integration, allocation of control, and performance period. We then develop a model of ﬁt-as-gestalt, drawing from literatures on strategy, governance, interorganizational relationships, and outsourcing.
Next, based on data from 311 ﬁrms in South Korea, we test universalistic and contingency perspectives in explaining the relationship between IT outsourcing strategies and outsourcing success. We then identify three congruent patterns, or gestalts, of IT outsourcing strategies. We term these strategies independent, arm’s-length, and embedded strategies. To establish the predictive validity of these gestalts and the viability of a conﬁgurational perspective, we then explore the effects of these congruent gestalts vis-à-vis noncongruent patterns on three dimensions of outsourcing success: strategic competence, cost efﬁciency, and technology catalysis. We also contrast the effects of each of the three gestalts on each of the three dimensions of outsourcing success. Our ﬁndings indicate the superiority of the conﬁgurational approach over universalistic and contingency perspectives in explaining outsourcing success."