Towards Understanding the Effects of Outsourcing on the Flexibility Dynamic of System of Systems

Part of the Flexible Systems Management book series (FLEXSYS)


The requirements of various stakeholders associated with System of Systems (SoS) are constantly changing. Consequently, the shareholders’ priorities of return and risk continuously shift. However, their expectations of gaining value from the SoS are enhancing.

One way of enhancing value from the SoS is by having the right amount of flexibility associated with it. Flexibility can be defined as the ability of a system to be able to adapt and cope with the changing environment. SoS flexibility means creating options at various levels, developing ways and means of change across the range of options. One possible way of creating enterprise flexibility is by outsourcing certain functions which would help affect the flexibility of an organization. The outsourcing done might also have an effect on each of the building blocks of SoS flexibility.

In this chapter, we will look at how outsourcing could affect each of the building blocks of SoS flexibility as well as show whether it is beneficial or not for an organization to outsource depending on how it affects their flexibility. We also come up with a matrix to show the effects of insufficient as well as excessive outsourcing on the overall functioning of the SoS.


Communication Barrier Constituent System Flexibility Dynamic Internal Intellectual Property Expected Cost Saving 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Boardman J, Sauser B (2006) System of systems – the meaning of of. IEEE international system of systems conference. Los Angeles, CAGoogle Scholar
  2. Browning T (1998) Sources of schedule risk in complex system development. Eighth annual international symposium of INCOSE. Vancouver, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  3. Commission N. Y. T. C. T. L. (2007) Current medallions – sorted by TLC medallion number, current_medallions.xls, TLCGoogle Scholar
  4. DeLaurentis D (2005) Understanding transportation as a system of systems design problem, 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting. Reno, NVGoogle Scholar
  5. Egger H, Egger P (2006) International outsourcing and the productivity of low skilled labor in the EU. Econ Inq 44(1):98–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. FAA (2005) National Airspace system documentation – acquisition and program risk management guide. FAAGoogle Scholar
  7. Gandhi J, Eschbacher G (2007) Risk of outsourcing complex systems – a growing phenomenon, American Society of Engineering Management (ASEM) annual conference Chattanooga, TNGoogle Scholar
  8. Gorod A, Sauser B (2007) An application of Prim’s Algorithm in defining a SoS operational boundary. 5th conference on systems engineering research. HobokenGoogle Scholar
  9. Gorod A, Gandhi SJ et al (2008) Flexibility of system of systems. Glob J Flex Syst Manage 9(4):1–12Google Scholar
  10. Grover V, Joong M et al (1996) The effect of service quality and partnership on the outsourcing of information systems functions. J Manage Inform Syst 12(4):89–116Google Scholar
  11. Hao R, Lee D et al (2004) Integrated system interoperability testing with applications to VoIP. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking 12(5):823–836Google Scholar
  12. Keating C, Rogers R et al (2003) Systems of systems engineering. Eng Manage J 15(3):36–45Google Scholar
  13. Kelly W (2007) The risk manager’s survival guide. Risk Management Magazine, pp 2228Google Scholar
  14. Kotov V (1997) Systems of systems as communicating structures, Hewlett Packard, HPL-97-124Google Scholar
  15. Lacity M, Willcocks L et al (1996) The value of selective IT sourcing. Sloan Manage Rev 37(3):13–25Google Scholar
  16. Lane JA, Valerdi R (2005) Synthesizing SoS concepts for use in cost estimation. IEEE conference on systems, man, and cybernetics at Waikoloa, HIGoogle Scholar
  17. Lorber L (2007) An expert’s do’s and don’ts for outsourcing technology. The Wall Street Journal, New York B8Google Scholar
  18. Luskasik SJ (1998) System, systems of systems, and the education of engineers. Artif Intell Eng Des Anal Manuf 12(1):55–60Google Scholar
  19. Maier M (1996) Architecting principles of systems-of-systems. 6th annual international symposium of the international council on systems engineering. BostonGoogle Scholar
  20. Manthorpe WH (1996) The emerging joint system of system: a systems engineering challenge and opportunity for APL. J Hopkins APL Tech D 17(3):305–310Google Scholar
  21. Marguilius D (2005) The new business process partnership. InfoWorld 27:33–37Google Scholar
  22. Nilchiani R, Hastings D (2007) Measuring the value of space systems flexibility: a six element framework. Syst Eng 10(1):26–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. O’Rourke R (2007) Coast guard deepwater program: background, oversight issues, and options for congress, CRS Report for Congress, C. R. ServiceGoogle Scholar
  24. Robinson M, Kalakota R et al (2005) Global outsourcing: executing an onshore, nearshore or offshore strategy. Mivar Press, Inc, Alpharetta, GA: Mivar PressGoogle Scholar
  25. Rost J (2006) The insider’s guide to outsourcing risks and rewards. Auerbach Publications, Boca Raton, FL: Auerbach PublicationsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sauser B, Boardman J et al (2008) SoS management. In: Jamshidi M (ed) System of systems – innovations for the 21st century. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  27. Schaller Consulting (2006) NYC Taxicab Fact Book New York, TLCGoogle Scholar
  28. Sullivan L (2004) The O word: outsourcing overseas. Risk Manage 51:24–30Google Scholar
  29. Wu F, Li HZ et al (2005) An outsourcing decision model for sustaining long-term performance. Int J Prod Res 43(12):2513–2535CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State UniversityNorthridgeUSA
  2. 2.University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.University of North TexasDentonUSA

Personalised recommendations