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CIO Forum: CIOs still split on outsourcing

'It's mine and you can't touch it' versus 'why on earth would I still want to manage that?'...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

'It's mine and you can't touch it' versus 'why on earth would I still want to manage that?'...

The silicon.com CIO Forum has revealed a clear divide among CIOs which still exists because of the issue of outsourcing.

Some fall into the category of believing nobody else would be able to run their business the way they do, while others simply don't trust outsourcing. On the other side of the debate are those who argue outsourcing can liberate them from 'chores' and free them up for more valuable projects.

The only real consistency is that few cite cost as the greatest driver.

Speaking during a lively panel debate, Rorie Devine, CTO of Betfair, said he is one IT chief who is very wary of any level of outsourcing, saying his business is too unique to outsource.

Devine said: "The general outsourced provider will not have the capability to deal with our demands," adding that companies must be wary of having 'no way back' if they outsource key talent or processes.

However, Neil Hammond, IT director of British Sugar, said many CIOs are simply "afraid to give away control".

Luke Mellors, IT director of Expotel, said whichever side of the debate CIOs fall they must not let cost become the only factor. "Managed services and outsourcing is not about cost. You have to look at the values beyond that," he said.

British Sugar's Hammond agreed, saying service is key: "The business doesn't really care whether it's my department or a third party providing the service as long as the service is good."

The panel said those businesses that do not outsource components of the business must still embrace an internal service provider approach, with the IT department providing SLAs as though they were a third party and also accepting they will be bound by the same kind of 'carrot and stick' economics.

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