back to article ITV reaches for remote by cutting loose techies

Techies at ITV face an uncertain future after the company's management told staff about plans to "rationalise" and "centralise" the team as well as outsource some IT services. Workers at the loss-making commercial broadcaster were given the bad news on Friday 16 October by ITV's technology boss Richard Cross. One anonymous …


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  1. The Original Steve

    Oh dear...

    "service desk, third line technical support, remote infrastructure management, project administration, application support and maintenance "

    What's left?!

    Seriously, I can see value (to a degree) in 1st line helpdesk and core application development (but not all) in being outsourced. However 2nd line and 3rd line, infrastructure and software architects as well as security and project managers need to be closely tied to the business.

  2. seanj

    "Period of Consultation"

    The biggest amount of corporate bullshit ever uttered by any company planning to offshore it's IT on the cheap. Do they not realise/care that everyone knows full well that when these words are uttered the decision has already been made?!

    Die Painfully, any who utter those words aloud trying to convince people you've not already made them redundant.

  3. Chris Hedley Silver badge

    Spam, spam, spam, spam

    > The broadcaster was hit by a painful drop in ad revenues last year when it reported a net loss of £2.55bn that led to 600 job cuts at the company in March.

    Maybe it's something to do with viewers switching off (literally) due to being spammed to death by ads. "More is more" might sound like a good thing at the advertising boutique, but from a viewer's perspective it just makes the TV unwatchable. Well, that and broadcasting crap in the decreasing amount of time when ads aren't being shown.

    Still, sod that, sack your techies and outsource their jobs somewhere cheap because it's worked so well for everyone else who's tried, eh? Or maybe they'd be better off outsourcing their management to people in possession of a clue instead of a business degree.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    If ITV made some decent progs then it might change

    and don't get me started on the humiliation that is X-Factor. How much of ITV's budget goes to pay Simon Cowell?

    The quality of acts/idiots being humiliated this year is appalling.(Had to sit through last weeks torture as I was visiting an old sick relative)

    IMHO, anyone with half a brain and is under 65 probably wouldn't watch any ITV-1. Utter Dross.

  5. Chika


    Let's face it. Corporate bullshit is only one of the many, many types on offer at ITV right now. Don't they realise that it is this sort of attitude, especially when they ditched the regions, that was the cutting of their own throats?

    What you have there isn't really a flame. It's just the truth.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    IT is not an optional extra for a broadcaster

    For a broadcaster. IT is a core component of their business these days - it's probably AS important as programme making.

    As anybody who's ever worked for the BBC will tell you, their outsourcing arrangement with Siemens is a serious barrier to innovation and productivity. Stories of staff in BBC R&D departments taking their own laptops into work and using them on the public wi-fi network in order to get anything done are common-place.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    No Viable [ZerodDay] Imagination ...... is such a Crying Shame in a Creative Medium

    If ITV made smashing programmes with relevant and aspirational product placements, the manufacturers would surely pay them handsomely to advertise their wares allowing them to make more smashing programmes with relevant and aspirational product placements.

    In TV .... Garbage In Garbage Out is an Undeniable Fact of Real Life which results in Virtual Death.

  8. Vulch

    Re: Spam, spam...

    "More is more" doesn't even work for those wanting to buy advertising. The budget a company has for buying TV space is generally fixed, if there are more spots available then they're going to pay less for each one. Putting two centre breaks in Corrie (That was where the big money got spent when I was working at an ITV station) might sound like a wonderful way of doubling the income but in practice while it might up the revenue for the programme by 10%, it will be at the cost of having to fill a couple of breaks later in the evening with COIs which earn nothing.

  9. Anonymous Hero

    ITV == Trash TV

    Even when I had a TV license and watched broadcast TV, ITV was a channel never watched simply because of the lowest common denominator crap they churned out. Even their news broadcasts were second rate and had that nasty condescending saccharin feel and taste about them.

    Time for ITV to up the quality a bit and stop appealing to the same crowd that absolutely must see Coronation Street or the world will end for them. ITV are almost indistinguishable from the tens of other mediocre channels on satellite TV, that needs to change. Maybe then the advertisers will return.

  10. Gulfie

    Moral position?

    Most of ITV's business is conducted in the UK, therefore most of their workforce and operations should also. FAIL.

  11. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    Lets outsource THEM not US...

    .. is how management work. Instead of looking at the largest block of cost, they look to cut the department that a) doesn't contain their direct staff b) contains no "talent" c) contains none of their friends - i.e., none of US.

    So, admin, HR, "corporate", they will be relatively untouched.

    I bet IT is a relatively small part of the overall outgoings, but as the execs don't know what it does, they assume it isn't important.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    wait for redundo or jump ship?

    They'll be lucky to retain the staff they need to make it to handover time, sh1t on the staff then expect them to hang around to help the outsourcing company, I don't think so.

    Paris, as thats the type of tripe that got them into dwiddling viewerships

  13. Joe K


    Managment twat 1: "We need to save moneys!"

    Managment twat 2: "I hear Outsourcing is cheap"

    Managment twat 3: "Cheap? I'm sure everything will be fine then, a plan with no drawbacks. Yay!"

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Doomed Company

    This will be about as successful as their brilliant idea to buy and then sell Friends Reunited. A doomed company.

  15. david bates

    The last ITV programme I watched was...

    Primeval, which was canned*. They now show nothing of interest to me as far as I can see from the listings

    *looks like it might be back in 2011 - we shall see...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wrong kind of program(me)s

    Its not the IT that should be's the miserable dross that they call programming.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps they should make some decent programs

    Then they might get in more ad revenue. I can't think of about 4 programs myself and my wife watch combined over a whole week on ITV. The rest is just lowest common denominator garbage for chavs and the recently lobotomised. Unfortunately the knuckle draggers buggered off to Council House TV , sorry Sky , years ago. As for ITV2,3 & 4, what the hell is the point?

  18. spamboy


    Funny how Cross leaked this earlier in the year and then vehemently denied it, and also he worked for Accenture in the past and now they are the proposed company for outsourcing. It looks like all 1st and 3rd line will be offshored, and someone got a hefty backhander.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    That will work about as well.. the brilliant outsourcing that the BBC were forced into. You know the one, cost a great deal more than before and significantly reduced quality and resilience of services provided. No possible drawback, no sireee.

    I wish Seimens on ITV, too.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    boo hoo

    face it. the only reason that there's so much bleating over here is because the jobs being outsourced are IT jobs. what about other jobs? it's not just IT jobs that are being outsourced, manufacturing has long gone. and no one cared, because all they could think about was how cheap the latest "made in china" gadget/tool/apparel was.

    for the record, i'm an indian working in bangalore. and i got my job because i'm darn good at what i do. go figure!!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re: IT is not an optional extra for a broadcaster

    Siemens are the bane of all BBC employees and anyone that has to work with the BBC.

    Somebody that i know works for Red Bee Media (Formally BBC Broadcast). Red Bee is basically a broadcast outsourcing management company, they playout all of the BBC channels, All of the Channel 4 (C4) channels, channel 5's disaster recovery and many many more.

    *All* of the public service channels expect for ITV are outsourced and run by Red Bee Media.

    The problem with this (aside form the obvious one of a single company having full technical control over the nation's public service broadcasters) is that underneath the flashy red bee logo it is still BBC broadcast. They are actually trying to run a 1000 employee outfit as if it were still the size of the BBC.

    Red tape aplenty - unbelievably expensive, essentially broken and unusable IT systems to "make life easier" - not one but three set's of timesheets for every individual to complete

    A change management system that requires *any* and *all* changes to be written up(Using said expensive and unworkable "make life easier IT systems"), documented and presented to a "Change Management Board" who meet just once a week. If you need to be reboot a server or make a small change to a script you must wait until Monday regardless of how serious it is or how none of the fat, overpaid managers that snort down there noses at you without ever understanding what it is your begging them to do - will usually deny your request due to you not providing a made up Budget code or an incident reference. NO no, we wont just have you add the details we ask and get on with it. NO no, you can wait until next monday. After all, the management are very busy.

    Outsourced IT and Phones to Serco. MY god, it is a miracle that the world functions with Serco at the helm. anyone that has every phoned an IT helpdesk, been driven to court etc... will share the pain on this one. The person i know who works for Red Bee is a Principle Engineer an his company laptop is so locked down he is not even allowed to change his IP address. The web proxy filters such naughty sites as,!! and, well most sites actually. Lets see you try and download some software and updates from behind and over configured bluecoat !

    insane management muttering orders seemingly in defiance of the blatantly obvious whilst thumbing through a Dummies Guide to running a business that has to pay it's way and make money,

    Overstaffed due to the immense inefficiency of the corporate workflow and under equipped due to a total lack of understanding of the nature of the business by senior, middle and for the most part junior management.

    A place where there are no tools (screw drivers and the like). More than 30 engineers doing the work of 10 engineers.

    A company that does not see a problem in having to pay 30 engineers to do the work of 10 since the 30 all have one hand tied to their balls and and have to spend more time doing worthless paperwork to generate worthless statistics for the management than they do actual engineering.

    A company where nobody knows the root password let alone the administrator account....nobody actually set one

    ITV Tech, mark my words, if they are not already talking to Red Bee then they soon will be. And god help them all.

    AC as my "friend" would like to remain so.

    Linear TV funded by the 30 second advert is dead anyway, unless ITV step up their game and show content that people would watch online or on demand then ITV is finished. Bin the 30 second ad model (it isnt working anyway) and go to product placement and sponsorship, get your shows onto a new distribution platform and move on from there.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    @ The Original Steve

    "What's left?!"

    A streamlined technology department of 74, including:

    6 Directors

    12 Heads

    26 Managers

    17 Consultants

    I wish this was a joke...

    AC - obviously

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off Shoring will stop soon

    it is a no brainer to make income tax payable on offshore staff or services.

    The real damage is in the security of these companies, the shit lists just build don't they, and people will retaliate, there may not be much of a system left to offshore soon.

    The best move is an immediate walkout of all tech staff. They are going to get rid of the jobs, best to make it a nightmare now, and then the cost of offshoring will be much higher on the books.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Broadcasters! Don't outsource your IT!

    Simply put, if your organisation's IT doesn't fall in the definitions of "financial" or "General Office" don't be tempted to outsource. And don't think it'd be worth going to an outsourcing company that's already had it's fingers in the Media industry already.

    There is this general perception in the IT world that If it doesn't run under Office or Media Player, then it's not serious IT. This is why outsourcing contracts change so quickly: show most of these companies a media server - all disks and fibre! - and they'll call it a SAN and try and install VMware on it!

    Stick with the IT people ** that know your business** ie the ones you originally hired.

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