Analyzing outsourced software development in the downstream petroleum sector in Ghana
Making a decision of going outsourcing for software development, can be a very confusing and difficult task. Both young companies and well-established ones are adopting software development outsourcing (SDO). A lot of organisations, if not most, don’t consider all the necessary factors needed to make the choice of developing software using the outsourcing approach. This study sought to make an in-depth analysis of developing software by contracting third-party developers(outsourcing), in the downstream petroleum sector in Ghana by outlining the merits and demerits of outsourcing software development in the industry, identifying vital technical and management decisions that influence outsourcing and identifying the effects that outsourcing software has on the project and operations of an organisation. The mixed methods approach was employed for this research work. Purposive and snowballing sampling methods were used to select individuals within the downstream petroleum industry in Ghana to be interviewed and administered questionnaires. The qualitative data helped in identifying some of the factors that influence outsourcing while also pointing out some of its advantages and disadvantages. The findings from the study indicated that, though the organisations within the industry share some of the merits and demerits, there were some of such that were organisation-specific. It also highlighted eight (8) factors that play a major role when deciding to outsource. Finally, the impact of outsourcing on an organisation; both on the project and the operations of the entity were realised. It is of worth to note that, both positive and negative impacts were realised, though the benefits outweighed the shortcomings. The study concludes with strategies that can be put in place to curb the shortcomings of the outsourcing approach to software development
A thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Award Degree of Master of Science in Project Management.
Outsourcing, Downstream, Software development