Companies in developed economies are now accustomed to use offshore IS services to develop and maintain software, and an increasing number of specialist offshore services firms exists to meet the demand. These include systems integrators whose origins are in developed economies, and ‘pure play’ offshore IS providers that originate in countries where the cost of IS labour is relatively low. Both type of offshore organisation have changed considerably in recent years in response to market demand and competitive pressure.

Although researchers have developed maturity models for users of IS offshoring, there is little that describes the nature and behaviour of offshore IS providers. Accordingly, this paper proposes a maturity model for offshore IS suppliers that is analogous to various consumer-oriented maturity models found in the literature and in trade journals. This preliminary framework is developed by reference to literature on outsourcing, offshoring and IS maturity models, and by recent relevant experience of practitioner organisations.

The conclusions from this study can be used to guide further research, and to develop constructs helpful to practitioners. The research helps suppliers of offshore IS services to understand the particular conditions in which it is appropriate to consider new business models. For consumers of offshore outsourcing, it provides a framework for categorising suppliers of IS services.