Inderscience Publishers

Investigating the partnering strategy for information technology acquisition in public organisations

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Over the last few years, external acquisitions of information systems have represented an ever-growing expense for most governments. Ironically, these massive investments in information technologies are occurring in a period when many studies have invoked the urgent need to reform the acquisition process. Central to this reform is the partnering strategy, where both private and public partners engage in a more cooperative and flexible agreement than the traditional, specifications-based contract. Based on the major projects observed, this acquisition strategy still remains difficult to implement. This exploratory study has identified three major obstacles: the inability properly to define a common goal, the lack of balance and equal commitment of resources between the partners, and finally, the lack of a common vision of what a private-public partnering process ought to be for this kind of project. These results call for a vigorous, long-term commitment by both administrative and political leaders in order to make partnering a beneficial strategy for major public-private projects.

Keywords: technology acquisition, information technology, partnering, public sector, project management

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