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Partnership of Four: Managing Alternative Sourcing at Oakland University

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The 2009 ECAR study, Alternative IT Sourcing Strategies: From the Campus to the Cloud, by Philip J. Goldstein, examines the factors information technology leaders consider when making sourcing decisions. It also examines the state of adoption of a variety of sourcing options for technology services. The study is based on results gathered from a literature search, from 372 responses to a web-based survey that was distributed to institutional representatives (mostly senior IT leaders) at 1,738 EDUCAUSE member institutions in November 2008 (a 21.4% response rate), and from follow-up telephone interviews with 20 senior IT leaders from a mix of institutions to gain deeper insights into findings from the quantitative analysis and to capture additional ideas and viewpoints. This case study examines the ways in which one institution, Oakland University, has organized and created an administrative process to cope with the challenges of the procurement and management of the options Goldstein’s study describes. It describes the factors that have driven extensive use of alternative IT sourcing, the institution’s Partnership of Four, and the benefits and challenges that external IT sourcing has brought to Oakland.

Citation for this work: Albrecht, Bob, and Judith A. Pirani. “Partnership of Four: Managing Alternative Sourcing at Oakland University” (Case Study 7). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research, 2009, available from

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