IT outsourcing intent in academic institutions in GCC countries: An empirical investigation and multi-criteria decision model for vendor selection

Mohd Nishat Faisal*, Syed Asif Raza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the reasons behind the intent for information technology (IT) outsourcing in academic institutions in GCC countries. It also aims to develop a multi-criteria decision model (MCDM) to aid the critical decision of IT outsourcing vendor selection. Design/methodology/approach – The research utilizes a questionnaire-based survey to investigate reasons of IT outsourcing intent and the factors considered important for IT outsourcing vendor selection in academic institutions. The results of questionnaire-based study were utilized to develop a grey theory-based MCDM for vendor selection. Findings – The results show that facilitating access to new technology, focus on core-competence, saving staff costs, and improved customer service are the most important factors for IT outsourcing intent while reputation of vendor, access to the state of art technology, quality of service, and knowledge of industry were considered as the most important factors for IT outsourcing vendor selection. Grey theory-based decision model was applied to a real case to facilitate the decision of selection of an IT outsourcing vendor. Practical implications – Academic institutions that plan to outsource IT in future would be the major beneficiaries of this study. They can utilize the multi-criteria model to select the best vendor. The model facilitates a more rational decision making as it incorporates several criteria considered important for IT outsourcing vendor selection. Originality/value – This study contributes to the body of research on IT outsourcing. It is first of its kind with its focus on academic institutions in GCC countries where currently education is a priority and IT is a backbone for its delivery. Another novelty of this research is that it propose a MCDM for IT outsourcing vendor selection. The findings of this study would serve as a guide to those institutions that intend to outsource IT functions to meet the ever growing needs of managing IT effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-453
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 11 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic institutions
  • GCC
  • Grey theory
  • IT outsourcing
  • Multi-criteria decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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