Firms have become highly dependent on their use of information systems for daily business activities (Nakata et al. 2010). To function efficiently and provide necessary support to the firm’s business, the management of a multitude of information systems involves continuous technical updates, as well as feature additions, adapting the system to the firm’s different business situations (Brady et al. 2008; Ekman 2015; Ekman et al. 2015). Information systems generally become more standardised, yet the high expertise knowledge needed for maintenance and development of them entails that suppliers of information systems are increasingly specialised on particular systems. Furthermore, the growing number of specialised information systems, and the increasing use in business, make their operational management time-consuming, requiring high degrees of specialised knowledge. As a consequence, firms chose to move the management of information systems to external parties providing the systems (IS-providers). This phenomenon has been described as information system outsourcing, with research on the topic mainly placing attention to the strategic process of management decisions on when to outsource and to whom (Lacity and Hirschheim 2012; Rivard and Aubert 2015). Outsourcing effectively means that the firm, not only for internal needs, but also for their ongoing business undertakings in marketing, sales and purchasing, relies heavily on IS-providers for business performance (Heckman 1999). Due to increasing numbers of information systems and information system providers (IS-providers), firms can no longer rely on one single IS-provider but nowadays have a complex arrangement involving multiple IS-providers for the diverse information systems utilised in business (Gallivan and Oh 1999).
Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 193-210 p.