The effect of outsourcing and insourcing on Agile and DevOps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Chief Information Officer of the Standard Bank Group, Brenda Niehaus, was contemplating her next steps. It is 2014 and she has just been appointed in her role and was burdened with a considerable set of challenges. Standard Bank Group’s IT costs were far above industry benchmarks, delivery was slow, staff was unhappy and there were a couple of large signature projects that were over time and budget by orders of magnitudes. Her predecessor has embarked on a large whole scale outsourcing journey and a decision needs to be made if that will continue. Dawie Olivier, her Head of Build, advocates something different: Agile and DevOps. The dream in this approach is to have many small cross-functional two-pizza teams that work together in close proximity and build software. The code created on a developer’s laptop will then seamlessly deploy to production automatically without the interference of pesky change control boards or some manual intervention. Should she continue with outsourcing or insource and focus on Agile? What she didn’t realise was that her successors will all face a similar situation and that answers will not be ready at hand. Many organisations face a similar dilemma of balancing outsourcing, Agile, DevOps and general constraints around skilled resources. We provide a rich narrative of the choices CIOs face in developing countries around these themes to help students understand the risks and opportunities these different approaches bring.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Information Technology Teaching Cases
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Agile
  • DevOps
  • insourcing
  • Outsourcing
  • teaching cases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of outsourcing and insourcing on Agile and DevOps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this