Choosing Component Origins for Software Intensive Systems: In-House, COTS, OSS or Outsourcing?-A Case Survey
Journal article, 2018
The choice of which software component to use influences the success of a software system. Only a few empirical studies investigate how the choice of components is conducted in industrial practice. This is important to understand to tailor research solutions to the needs of the industry. Existing studies focus on the choice for off-the-shelf (OTS) components. It is, however, also important to understand the implications of the choice of alternative component sourcing options (CSOs), such as outsourcing versus the use of OTS. Previous research has shown that the choice has major implications on the development process as well as on the ability to evolve the system. The objective of this study is to explore how decision making took place in industry to choose among CSOs. Overall, 22 industrial cases have been studied through a case survey. The results show that the solutions specifically for CSO decisions are deterministic and based on optimization approaches. The non-deterministic solutions proposed for architectural group decision making appear to suit the CSO decision making in industry better. Interestingly, the final decision was perceived negatively in nine cases and positively in seven cases, while in the remaining cases it was perceived as neither positive nor negative.