Defining IT Sourcing Strategies in Large-Scale Agile Organisations: A Configuration-based Approach
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There is a plethora of IT Sourcing (ITS) strategy prescriptions for non-agile organisations available in the extant literature. Agile practices at enterprise scale have widespread impacts on these prescriptions; yet, the effects of agile frameworks on ITS strategies remain unrevealed and scholars usually neglect this compelling contextual factor. This thesis investigates the impacts of large-scale agile frameworks on the configuration of ITS decisions and the way large organisations should configure their ITS strategies considering these impacts. The research first studies the ITS literature to realise that there is a lack of empirical research on ITS strategies in agile organisations. Then, through a systematic literature review, required constructs are identified. As a result, a map containing ten different dimensions of ITS strategies is generated and used as a scaffold for our multiple-case study at six Netherlands-based large-scale agile organisations. The results of conducted 19 interviews with various managerial roles reveal that four dimensions, namely sourcing model, location of outsourcing, pricing model, and relational governance are mostly affected by agile frameworks. Furthermore, even after more than three years of utilising agile frameworks, organisations still have not discovered a proper optimum point for at least the first three dimensions. The results also uncover that organisations are not fully aware of the impacts of agile transformation on the process of ITS decision-making and this process may remain intact for years, resulting in continuous experimentation and trial and error of ITS strategies. We conclude that organisations should recognise the effects of agile frameworks to make ITS decisions accordingly. Additionally, adhering to a more rational and structured decision-making process helps organisations to more efficiently find proper optimum points for the dimensions of ITS strategy.