Review Article Open Access

Critical Barriers in Software Outsourcing Vendor Organizations and Their Impacts on Software Outsourcing Clients: A Systematic Literature Review

Ismail Keshta1 and Ammar Odeh2
  • 1 AlMaarefa University, Saudi Arabia
  • 2 Princess Sumaya University for Technology Amman, Jordan


Globalization and technological advancement have driven up the demand for software as many enterprises seek to gain a competitive edge through efficient business operations. Whereas software provides this capacity, the resources involved in software development sometimes provide a stumbling block, especially for startups and smaller businesses. Software development outsourcing or offshore software development offers a viable alternative for these enterprises. Software development outsourcing is a contractual agreement between a client and vendor organization (s), who then provide part or all of the software development related services at an agreed fee paid by the client. Despite the apparent importance of offshore software development, there is limited research literature that explores the general practices in software development outsourcing. Besides, identifying barriers that often present a significant challenge for client organizations has received a little interest from researchers. This paper presents a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) of 68 research articles to identify the critical barriers for offshore software development outsourcing vendors. In order to increase the internal validity of the reported findings, the articles selected for the review were taken from three continents; Africa, Asia and Europe. The critical barriers established from the study included communication problems, cultural barriers and incompatibility with the client’s requirements. From the findings, it is recommended that vendors address these barriers for an improved relationship between themselves and the clients. Moreover, addressing these barriers offer the vendors with an opportunity to position themselves strategically within the offshore outsourcing industry. Furthermore, the findings provide meaningful literature in the continuum of Software Development Outsourcing for Software project managers, researchers and other participants in the field. More importantly, the presented literature offers a starting point for generalizing the reported findings within the context of Software Development Outsourcing.

Journal of Computer Science
Volume 16 No. 10, 2020, 1346-1354


Submitted On: 17 July 2020 Published On: 5 October 2020

How to Cite: Keshta, I. & Odeh, A. (2020). Critical Barriers in Software Outsourcing Vendor Organizations and Their Impacts on Software Outsourcing Clients: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Computer Science, 16(10), 1346-1354.

  • 1 Citations



  • Offshore Software Development
  • Outsourcing Vendors
  • Systematic Literature Review