Leveraging Offshore it Outsourcing by Smes Through Online Marketplaces
Journal of Information Technology Case and Application, Vol. 8, No. 3
27 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2006 Last revised: 24 Nov 2013
Following their larger counterparts, an increasing number of small firms outsource their IT tasks to lower cost offshore destinations. For small firms, however, offshore outsourcing is a difficult undertaking as it involves high transaction costs. Online marketplaces for IT services, which have recently become available to small firms, make offshore IT outsourcing more accessible and manageable, although differences in the marketplace design result in varying outcomes across the marketplaces. This has consequences for SME's decision as to which online marketplace to use, because different markets may have different types of benefits and costs. This paper sets to analyze some of the similarities and differences between online marketplaces for IT services and their effects for small firms. First, we analyze if and how online marketplaces reduce small firms' transaction costs in offshore IT outsourcing. Second, we examine the effects of market entry barriers on outcomes of online marketplaces and their implications for small firms. The results indicate that online marketplaces for IT services do reduce transaction costs for small firms in offshore outsourcing across ten specific market processes. More surprising, however, is the finding that the lower market entry barriers for suppliers result in lower prices for buyers without compromising other aspects of market performance.
Keywords: Offshore IT Outsourcing, Online Market, Reverse Auction, Process-Stakeholder Analysis
JEL Classification: M, L15, O32, L24
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