No doubt this has to do with a laser focus on Client Excellence.
Just 20 per cent of IBM’s Global Technology Services workforce in mature economies could remain under offshoring and near-shoring plans set out by the company’s top brass, The Register can exclusively reveal. Big Blue last month embarked on a cost-cutting exercise in the UK, putting 1,352 staff on a 45-day notice period to “ …
yes, I used to have to contend with this, ask an email question of the devs, get a crappy half answer the next day. You follow it up with clarifications and extra questions, get an answer the day after that may, if you're lucky, have what you need in it.
And so on, it can take up to a week, with much prompting, to get an answer to a question that should take 5 minutes.
Silly Cone Valley : GMT -8
New Yawk : GMT -5
New Dehli : GMT +5:30
Shenzhen : GMT +8
... basically it is a wash in TZ terms if you're used to dealing with the wrong side of the pond anyway. Personally I prefer skyping Shenzhen at 6am rather than CA at 10pm.
The UK is still a prime location for central IT and financial services due to the ability to deal with most places in the globe during our waking hours - even if slow overnight reactions mean mediocre productivity. Think I'll be finding work somewhere in the UK for a while yet.
(I was reading that the UK's low productivity might not be a bad thing if it means high employment levels. So we are an ideal low productivity hub sitting amid all those time zones.)
"Global Services". Technically "offshore" would be the moon, surely? In a globally delivered service, someone will end up having service delivered from over a border and generally that someone will live in a wealthy country. If you want guaranteed work, cost less or have a skill that can't be outsourced elsewhere. Sadly most of this stuff can appear to be satisfactory when sent elsewhere. We can argue about whether the service is as good all we like, but it's management who decide and they probably have no idea what you do anyway or what the output needs to look like.
The problem with this is that management rarely sees the link between offshoring and losing business. When the primary key performance indicator is customer satisfaction, management gets the impression that a boorish support guy that fixes your problem in 15 minutes is worse than a polite guy that goes out of his way and spends a week to tell you that he can't fix your problem or only half-fixes it.
Sadly, the latter is hardly ever captured and likely never captured when field support is involved because the latter will frequently fix a problem just by being there despite being asked to do something that breaks the hardware.
The problem with this is that management rarely sees the link between offshoring and losing business
So long as the other outsourcers and offshorers are equally crap, the clients have nowhere to go. Insourcing something like IT is hugely complex (and shameful) job when five years previously you transferred all your in-house IT bods to IBM Global Buggerups, who promptly fired them.
The whole outsourcing industry is a scam, in which the buyers don't understand the business model of the sellers, but then find out too late that it is a scam, and there's no easy way back. But if IBM lose a client for their shit service, it doesn't matter because their snake oils salesmen can lure in a disaffected HP or TCS customer. The majority of contract wins amongst the outsourcers are simply industry churn, and most of the ITO and BPO vendors can live with that.
The one thing the vendors can't live with is the idea of a client bringing back almost all of their IT in house, but because that's hard it is rarely seen. Meanwhile directors keep falling for the "too good to be true" promises of the vendors, despite the obvious conclusion that it it looks too good to be true, its because it is indeed too good to be true.
I hear a lot of complaints about management when it comes to offshoring, but I don't hear one of you complaining about the bean counters that really drive this decision. If you honestly believe that managers can make these kinds of calls in a vacuum, then I give you too much credit.
The reality is that it's the accountants driving the "let's keep the assets off our books" that's been the main driving force behind outsourcing in general. That certainly doesn't prevent any blame from flowing over to incompetant management, overzealous sales teams, and all the other bloodsuckers in the mix. But it's unthinkable to ignore the central influence of the accountants/CFOs.
They aren't outsourcing their staff, it's offshoring. They employ people in India etc to do the work rather than paying three times the price for people in mature markets. That way "in theory" companies can outsource their IT to IBM for cheaper than doing it themselves. I wouldn't call a company with hundreds of thousands of employees a shell company. They also sell software.
BTW I'm not saying it's a good/fair business model but just letting you know the facts. IBM has plenty of problems but being a shell company is not one of them
This is just the nature of outsourcing.... I don't think IBM is any worse than the outsourcing provider of your choice in this respect. It is really the companies buying these services fault. They bring in outsourcing because they believe IT is a commodity, so give me your lowest price. It is rare that service quality trumps price for the people buying outsourcing. IBM is losing in the outsourcing market because the Indian providers are undercutting them on price... and people buying the contracts assume that TCS can hire Indian techs about as well as IBM can hire Indian techs and their models are more or less the same. This issue isn't really on IBM or HP or Accenture. It is a government labor and trade issue. If IBM decides they are only going to staff UK accounts with UK staff, they just get slaughtered on price by other outsourcing providers and it doesn't really solve anyone's problem. Not a pleasant business.
More real talk... All of this infrastructure outsourcing is going cloud in a few years anyway. Compute power on tap is a commodity and the giant cluster players, Azure and AWS, are good at it and getting better. It is a volume and scale business. IT is largely about standardizing and automating manual processes. IT itself is in its own cross hairs.
Once upon a time it was policy for some government contracts (I'm not mentioning the Department) to source from the median three bids unless there were overriding technical reasons to choose something more expensive. Being the lowest (or highest) bid generally doomed your proposal. I only remember one low ball getting through, and that was only after the Department imposed a 20% increase in costs (and staff).
Strangely, I don't remember any of the notorious public sector IT disasters being procured that way.
... to come over and "make the UK great again".
He'd force those companies to rethink their off-shoring strategies, while simultaneously filming a rivoting reality TV series covering the transformation.
And in the final episode, he would unveil plans for a big, fuck-off wall around the English coast to stop those pesky jobs leaking out. Marvellous!
No customer of an IT service provider cares about a high quality service. They are all trying to drive their own internal costs down just the same as everybody else.
They want to define the absolute bare minimum service level for their business to function and then pay absolutely the least possible price for it.
If any of you think we can ever put that genie back in the bottle, then you are sadly mistaken.
The technology no longer is a nice pet thing that people play around with because the MD "likes computers", its just another piece of business tooling that needs to be as cheap as possible.
No wonder Ibm is going down in flames. Instead of innovation and bold products, they give the world globalist finance games while screwing their own workers.
Those who survive the ax will not trust, and never trust, the so called leaders again. They will simply lay down and hope they miss the next swing.
Ibm is toast....that shoulda' been the headline.
Get your CV together and start applying for jobs now. You might be pleasantly surprised at the response, I was.
I'm much happier for having left, although I miss my colleagues. That's where Facebook comes in.
There are good options, but you need to reach out for them. Take control - good luck.
I've worked in GTS for a few years. I've worked with countless offshore DBAs and techies from other areas. There are a few good ones offshore but a bit like good project managers, good ones are bloody hard to find.
Especially if IBM were to honour my redundancy package I would be pleased to go. IBM has always been a tough place to work. But IBM has lost its integrity with respect to staff and customers. You see this on a daily basis in management comms with customers when you know the truth and what is really happening. You see it again with they way they managed pensions and in general how they treat the staff. The "Business Conduct Guidlines" only apply to those at the bottom. Management can do as they please. And they do.
They're always looking achieving the Q's targets. "I don't care about the implications for the next year or next Q. I know that if I don't hit this Qs targets I won't be around to worry about the next Q or next year". Hence everything is short sighted.
It can't continue, it won't continue. The funny thing is, the concept of out sourcing and the profits coming from automation, economies of scale etc is a wonderful idea. But you've got to wonder why none of it is implemented... ah ... yes ... because its too expensive!
Of course at the top of the costs is staff. All they see is the cost. So we're the first to go. And those that stay have to cope with what the aftermath. It will be interesting this time as staff who are go are going with statutory minimum payments, and are expected to work the notice period. The internal security of systems is generally poor. So we have motive, opportunity and method. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
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