back to article Never knowingly under-digitally transformed: Retailer John Lewis outsources tech function to Wipro

UK retailer John Lewis Partnership is buddying up with services giant Wipro and ejecting 244 tech staff into the arms of the outsourcer as it does so. CIO Mike Sackman said: "Today is an important milestone in the evolution of our Technology and Change team," and reckoned Wipro will ensure the group always has "access to up-to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

    or as soon as Wipro can offshore them to India (or somewhere even cheaper)

    The last time it happened to me, I said NO when asked to train my replacement. I left them to it and retired.

    There is no future in IT in the UK.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

      I do hope someone sensible in JL stops this.

      JL has long been a trusted brand in the UK, with a dedicated, hard working and deeply knowledgeable workforce. It is technical people, with a deep and robust understanding of the business that will help it compete at the top table, that will unearth opportunity from the value locked deep inside the business and ultimately propel it forwards in the rush to digital.

      It is a sign of significant naivety that this is being handed over to a third party.

      Good luck John Lewis, I wish you well but fear you're f**ked.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

        "I do hope someone sensible in JL stops this."

        that ship sailed long ago.......

        they wanted to announce this earlier but CV19 tripped up their plans.

        This is the action of an organisation desperate to reduce costs at any cost.

        the previous management stitched us all up by appointing someone with no retail experience then the senior execs all bailed with golden parachutes as soon as the new unexperienced exec started, SW has no chance in this amazingly difficult climate, the previous mob should have their golden goodbyes taken away!!!!

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

          Yep, JL were in trouble long before CV19. Looking remarkably like M&S back in the 90s. Still big, still popular, but unchanged in 20 years and slowly going down. This will be the first of many transformations that can't hide the fact that their time has gone.

          Next they'll talk about focusing on the youth market thus losing all their 40+ customers who actually shop there.

          1. calmeilles

            Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

            My own, and therefore purely anecdotal, experience is that the stores are less durable, quality household goods and more shiny, shiny, bling.

            You'd hope that retailers would have a good grasp of their market, and maybe they do, but if so I — middle class, middle aged, willing to pay for nice things — no longer seem to be it.

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

              High street is dead.

              Just look at the news, another shop-chain going bankrupt, even far before covid, etc.

              My town's offering are now pathetic (they were carbon-copies of every other town), Intu is dead so all the big ones are disappearing.

              My old street had no less than 4 bookies and 5 pharmacies on it. For a road about half a mile long. The rest were charity shops (basically to fill otherwise-empty shops?), delivery takeaways (by definition can operate from anywhere), and things like estate agents (do people still use those?). Oh, and one cafe that was never open when I go past it but looked to still be in business.

              High street was wounded a long time ago by online shopping, hasn't recovered, won't recover and is just in its death-throes. Covid might well be the straw that broke the camels back.

              And I can't say I'll miss what it's turned into. I'd much rather all those places were converted to houses and we just spent money online.

              Sorry, but I want 24-hour opening, even on a Sunday, or online delivery. It's 2020. I also want to be able to fecking park somewhere near things. That's almost impossible now.

              Cafes, restaurants - maybe slightly more desirable - but you can just group them together in one place.

              I foresee out-of-town retail parks, with bowling or whatever (cinema will die?), huge supermarkets and a food court, and 10,000 parking spaces. And that's it. Everything in town will just be houses.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

            JL appeared to me to be best positioned to weather the storm because they were working hard (are still working hard) to shift sales from bricks and mortar to online, and ironically CV-19 has helped accelerate that shift. They weren't in the best position but when you look at their competition, they were leading. Still declaring profits while investing in change. Much wider product range than M&S, probably the most trusted department store on the high street.

            Oh and they actually have a very wide range of shoppers, not just the "40+" as you suggest. Just go into Oxford Street, Westfield White City or Heelas store in Reading, or their store in Birmingham (all ones I have regularly shopped in over the years) and you'll see that.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

              M&S quality declined many years ago. I have old clothes from them that outlast their replacements. I should throw out the old stuff one day but I like to get value from my clothes.

              JL is too expensive and relies on the wealthier middle aged, the young have no jobs and no money so why bother with them?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

                You say that "JL is too expensive and relies on the wealthier middle aged, the young have no jobs and no money so why bother with them?"

                I still use them occasionally as they will price match other retailers (including Amazon) and give you a longer guarantee than everyone else. Does that answer your "why bother with them" as well as the "too expensive" part.

              2. elsergiovolador

                Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

                Last time I bought a pair of jeans in M&S they didn't lasted first wash. Their quality in my opinion is worse than Lidl now.

        2. macjules Silver badge

          Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

          I think that they have been in trouble for some time. Their biggest problem is a seemingly inability to deliver small online goods in less than 5-7 working days or that larger items that might require installation or recycling collection can take 21 days or more to deliver. Even Curry's can do this faster, and Curry's will price match JLP.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

        Exactly. That excellent benefits package is one of the main things keeping staff turnover as low as it is. I think the partnership is in for a bit of a shock. I know a few partners eligible for retirement who have been publicly saying they'll take that instead.

        Also, why outsource when so many big names have subsequently insourced? HMRC, DWP, Home Office, Sky to name but a few. Outsourcing sacrifices flexibility for an apparent cost saving which, in practice, doesn't seem to pay off in the medium to long term.

        Major mis-step I think.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

      I know one person, back in the early 90s, he'd been with the company over 40 years. They outsourced and the outsourcer looked for voluntary redundancies after a year, as they were forcing people onto new contracts.

      He took voluntary redundancy / early retirement, which gave him well over a years salary as compensation. Then the company noticed that he was responsible for around 30 systems at the old client, and was the only person with any knowledge of them. He came back a month later as a contractor for 18 months to train up a replacement!

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

        > He came back a month later as a contractor for 18 months to train up a replacement!

        Hopefully at an eye watering rate

    3. czechitout

      Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

      In my experience, many of those 244 will leave of their own accord, as who wants a WITCH company on your CV?

      In fact, these companies bank on it, as they would rather have someone offshore than an expensive TUPEd resource.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

        In the post Covid, China dominated, Trump influenced Brexit world why are we sending jobs abroad?

        1. elsergiovolador

          Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

          Because government desperately needs poor people so they can buy votes with cheap handouts. If you have not noticed, they learned that it is easier to get votes by promising free money instead of promising lower taxes and better job prospects.

          1. Extreme Aged Parent

            Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

            An interesting thought, perhaps cummings will pick this one up!

  2. fwthinks

    Madness

    If you are a small company with a few IT people, it may make sense to get economies of scale by outsourcing, but I struggle to understand why large businesses with hundreds of IT staff would outsource.

    It is such a short term view - haven't they seen all the other companies that continual go through the outsoucing / insourcing cycle, plus all the failed IT projects being run by external consultancies. Not to mention the fact that from now on, IT in retail is a core function - the biggest retailer in the world is an IT company - Amazon.

    1. DS999

      Re: Madness

      It is such a short term view

      So are most executive compensation packages. Now do you get why?

    2. DevOpsTimothyC

      Re: Madness

      haven't they experienced that continual going through the outsoucing / insourcing cycle, plus all the failed IT projects being run by external consultancies.

      FTFY

      PS running EVERYTHING in IT as a project is also a stupid idea.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Madness

      It is a way of "pivoting skills". You outsource the current IT department, then swap to new technologies and the outsourcer brings in the right staff for the new technology, whilst sidelining and eventually getting rid of the "dead wood", instead of trying to get them trained up on the new, or even asking if they are interested in retraining.

      I've seen it done. I've also seen it backfire on more than one occasion.

    4. czechitout

      Re: Madness

      You got in it your last paragraph, it is short term cost savings. The IT director gets to move to his next role with "Saved John Lewis £20m in annual OP EX" on his CV.

      Then it is someone else's problem to sort out the mess left behind.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Madness ...

      A thousand times this. The law of diminishing returns also applies to economies of scale: the obvious corollary being that the bigger your IT, the smaller the savings available by outsourcing* it to someone still bigger.

      The businesses that can really benefit from outsourcing IT are small businesses with zero to one suitable business premises and zero to few IT staff. At the opposite end of the scale you get idiocy like NASA outsourcing data storage to Amazon and finding that the outsourcer's profit margin swamps the razor-thin cost efficiencies available.

      *It's the same with "cloud" which is just a specific subset of outsourcing.

      1. Gonzo wizard Bronze badge

        Re: Madness ...

        To be fair, outsourcing to 'cloud' is all about eliminating capital expenditure as far as your company board is concerned.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sinking Ship ahoy

    sad to see so many experienced staff tossed by the wayside.

    the worst bit is they are not offering redundancy, just TUPE.

    won't be long before WiPro will piss everyone off to the extent that people leave without a payout after originally joining what many thought and hoped was a safe place of employment with the caveat of having a say on your future as John Lewis constantly make a lot of noise about "the Partnership" "Democracy" and that it some how stands them apart from other businesses. Doesn't look that way now.

    It's certainly personal now to many.

    change often needs to happen but outsourcing isn't the only way to bring about change. Outsourcing does point to stress in the business as they desperately look to slash costs knowing it'll cost more in the long run.

    1. elsergiovolador

      Re: Sinking Ship ahoy

      Couldn't be one of the reasons that government just made hiring domestic specialists insanely expensive and bureaucratic?

  4. Maximum Delfango
    Facepalm

    Won't be shopping in John Lewis any more...

    Outsourcing IT never ever works.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Won't be shopping in John Lewis any more...

      "I'm going to pay a middle-man to employ the same staff I used to employ, pay the same tax and pensions as I would have to, to provide the same service, but subject to *their* service levels (i.e. 5pm, we're done mate), when they have dozens of other customers, then add on 20% for their profit margins, who after a year will get rid of all the expensive staff and replace them with minimum wage drones."

      Sorry, but outsourcing never made any sense to me at all, unless you're the outsourcing company and getting 20% for doing a job that someone else could have done for themselves anyway.

      It's like a homeowner paying a guy to put out their bins. More money than sense.

    2. thribb
      Trollface

      Re: Won't be shopping in John Lewis any more...

      … and I will be selling my shares. (Troll icon obvs.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Won't be shopping in John Lewis any more...

        Please tell me where you can buy shares in JL.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Won't be shopping in John Lewis any more...

          Not even so called partners, who supposedly share in the profits, can stop this outsourcing!!!

  5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    A Question for the Chief Idiot

    Should any company outsource their finance and accounting? I suspect the answer is no so why do they insist on outsourcing IT? Inquiring minds want to know. It appears the main qualification to get an MBA is an IQ so low a rock looks like Einstein.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: A Question for the Chief Idiot

      Doh!

      Beancounters RULEZ!

      But yes, I agree that it is them that need to be outsourced to Naglblistan and paid in unobtanium.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: A Question for the Chief Idiot

      Accounting and other back-office functions are routinely outsourced in many medium/large corporates.

      It is not just IT

    3. Julz Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: A Question for the Chief Idiot

      As I've said before. Since it seems that any old MBA can run any type of company. Why don't you outsource the management functions to a board as a service company. Which will efficiently run yours, and several other companies business, bringing economies of scale, time efficiency and cross pollination to such functions as strategic planning, corporate marketing, fat bonus negotiations, golden parachute schemes, corporate merry go rounds, and many other vital functions.

      The joke part is that it might actually work...

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: A Question for the Chief Idiot

        I've often said that cleaning and security are put out to the lowest tender, yet they never apply the same principal to executive roles.

  6. IGotOut Silver badge

    Director Speak.

    "Today is an important milestone in the evolution of our Technology and Change team, "

    Translation:

    "We've joined the race to the bottom."

    1. tin 2

      Re: Director Speak.

      Well, I dunno. It probably is an important milestone but a really shitty nightmarish one.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Director Speak.

      Sorry... was that milestone or millstone?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Director Speak.

      "Today is an important millstone in the evolution of our Technology and Change team, "

      FTFY

  7. getHandle

    So. Farewell then John Lewis

    You broke your price promise, you're closing stores, you're outsourcing IT... Basically, you're f*cked.

    1. DevOpsTimothyC

      Re: So. Farewell then John Lewis

      I imagine that I'm not the only one who isn't too put out about the price promise and saw it as keeping the both the country and the high street working.

      The other two ... :(

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: So. Farewell then John Lewis

      John Lewis have been relatively fortunate, compared to other high street retailers, in that they have freeholds or very long leases on some of their longest-standing stores. However, with 40% of their sales coming from online even before Covid-19, the costs of doing business in the rest of their stores is becoming unsustainable. They've already moved to own-brand goods where they can which sidestep the "never knowingly undersold" promise. Their staff bonus has been diminishing in value to a paltry 2% last year. Their former "no-questions-asked" approach to extended warranties has become much more combative as margins get thinner. The reasons to shop there are becoming fewer.

      They may have a future as as a sort of early Habitat + niche provider of made-to-measure soft furnishings, but it's unlikely they'll survive for long as a chain of large department stores. Given the likely economic fallout from the pandemic, Waitrose is also quite likely to struggle - having also lost the Ocado contract.

      This is only the beginning.

      1. elsergiovolador

        Re: So. Farewell then John Lewis

        I am not sure if you heard that, but government was planning to increase taxes for online stores to create "level playing field". We are in the free fall now...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So. Farewell then John Lewis

      You do know that Never Knowing Undersold is still a thing, right?

      https://www.johnlewis.com/customer-services/prices-and-payment/never-knowingly-undersold-claim

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: So. Farewell then John Lewis

        In the article it states that it is under review:

        Earlier this year, White launched a "strategic review" – expected to be completed in autumn – into the business, stating in a March earnings call it planned to close three Waitrose stores and look into the suitability of the "Never knowingly undersold" price-matching pledge.

  8. ovation1357 Bronze badge
    FAIL

    And if you believe that...

    Wipro will ensure the group always has "access to up-to-date stagnant technologies and specialist expertise the cheapest, least experienced offshore workforce."

    There: Fixed it! :-(

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have to wonder what planet these PHBs come from.

    But then again, having been round this loop personally and seen first hand what a shit-show Wipro is, I was a bit surprised to find a complete lack of any mention anywhere on the Internet about the rate and reason for contract failures. You can find a lot of links about contract wins, but precious little about why contracts are terminated. The one I was involved with was terminated early for poor performance. Not. A. Peep. Fairly big contract too.

    Too much ass covering at the senior PHB level I suspect - I mean they want to protect their golden parachute no matter what.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It can work the other way too.

      One of my clients uses Wipro on a large number of projects. Mostly they are a shit-show, but now and again one of their staff shows promise and eventually ends up as a permie for the client.

  10. GreggS

    Well

    good luck with that.

  11. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

    John Lewis As all real physical shops is trying to survive completion from Amazon.

    Amazon is effectively an IT company with warehouses attached.

    And those competing with them are shedding their IT? How they see their future?

    1. hoola Bronze badge

      Partially correct, the other huge problems are the tax arrangements that Amazon have and the fact that they appear to be untouchable by the relevant authorities to be accountable for a realistic tax settlement.

      One of the ways the likes of Amazon can be sorted out is a complete overhaul of the business rent/rates system. It has been abundantly clear for some years that warehouse and distribution centres are pay far too little in rent and rates. These sheds are put up on greenfield sites for peanuts, leased from some holding company and then have in real terms, bugger business rates. All retailers needs these facilities but the big background costs are in shops. Rent and rates for these facilities need to be dramatically increased and then traditional retail premises reduced. You could also do some sort of offset to try and level things a bit more so that if you have retail shop space, its rates are reduced to counter the increase in the warehouse. Warehouse and distribution facilities should also be rated based on volume, not anything that can be massaged like floor area, etc.

      I worked for JL in the late 80's and 90's and then they were innovative. The problem is not just limited to JL but throughout much of the UK where there is this obsession with "Graduate Trainees". These are usually totally clueless individuals that are fast-tracked into management positions. This becomes a self perpetuating cycle as more and more of the pillocks occupy more senior positions in the management change. Very occasionally you will get a good one but for the most part my experience has been that they are a liability but because of the way the system works, it is self-fulfilling. You reap what you sow and that lack of real business skills, common sense and long-term planning has been lost.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Making Amazon pay an environmental tax for all the knackered cars delivering their goods will improve the coffers and reduce the coughing due to the pollution they produce.

        1. elsergiovolador

          Do you realise that any tax will be paid by the consumer? Maybe government shouldn't tax the workers so bad, so they could afford upgrade of their vans as a starter.

          1. Paul 195

            It's up to Amazon whether they pass the cost of extra taxes onto their consumers or not. Right now Amazon pays far less tax than their competitors with high street stores, giving them an unfair advantage. It's no longer the case that Amazon is substantially cheaper than those competitors, so if they pass on their increased costs directly, they'll have to make do with fewer customers.

            Since Jeff Bezos could afford to upgrade the entire Amazon fleet out of the change down the back of his sofa, I suspect that Amazon could pay a lot more tax without putting its prices up.

  12. Paul 195

    Very shortsighted move. A lot of financial institutions that went through big outsourcing exercises a decade ago are now looking to rebuild inhouse expertise as they've realized they can't innovate that fast when everything has to go through several layers.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So as the high street enters into an accelerated death and people have become more reliant on online shopping, let's outsource the people who would be pivotal into helping JL make that transition, and in doing so introduce lots of red tape and expense (when the outsourcer wants to be paid for every change).

    Well done Mike - I'm sure your bonus pot will be rewarded by this visionary thinking... even if the shop staff don't get one.

  14. Steve Todd

    JL is supposed to be a staff owned enterprise

    So why on Earth should they kick a whole department out to an external company, especially when they are increasingly dependent on that department for survival.

    In my experience of JL, the problems they have been having are down to the p*ss poor customer support. People are prepared to pay a premium if they know that the support will be good. Our recent dealings have not demonstrated anything like that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: JL is supposed to be a staff owned enterprise

      This is the core issue.

      I am a prime customer for JL and I would much rather use them than amazon.

      Outsourcing your only future source of competitive advantage is madness.

      Putting someone in who has no retail background - if I have a bus to drive, I want to employ someone who knows how to drive buses.

      JL website has always had quite a nice clean look and seemed to work well.

    2. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: JL is supposed to be a staff owned enterprise

      So does that mean 244 partners stripped of their partnership without their consent?

      Interesting how this might pan out if challenged. TUPE applies to employees - not at all clear whether it applies to partners.

      1. AW-S

        Re: JL is supposed to be a staff owned enterprise

        "TUPE applies to employees". John Lewis Partners have contracts of employment and are not "real" Partners. They are not the kind of Partners you would have in an LLP for example.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they have been TUPE'd (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) into Bangalore-based Wipro

    And will be in the business for a few months before being outsourced and given horrible roles that force them to leave

  16. Gonzo wizard Bronze badge

    Ooh look at the large number of ACs posting...

    Somebody should definitely send a link to somebody senior to get them to read the commends of their staff!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ooh look at the large number of ACs posting...

      I'm not staff, but I do know Wipro hence anon.

    2. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Ooh look at the large number of ACs posting...

      Sadly some Manager would probably read them then decide that they need to find out who is being so rude about the company and march into IT demanding they track down people commenting on El Reg...

      and not realise that the people they expect to do their bidding are the ones they just sh*t on

    3. AW-S

      Re: Ooh look at the large number of ACs posting...

      When I worked for The Partnership back in 79-81, they had two in-house magazines. The weekly letters column was just full of fake names (AC). No one in the organisation was brave enough to use their real initials, let alone a name, for fear of retribution. I can imagine a few ACs here are currently Partners.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Feel sorry for "Partners"

    The outsourcing deal is for IT operations only.

    John Lewis still retains the core part of their strategic applications development. They use 3rd parties including offshore companies, but control is in-house.

    It is a disaster for the "partners" of course. Long serving ones, who stayed because of John Lewis culture and good pension benefits have the most to loose. I hear many of them have been with the Partnership for 20+ years usually starting right out of school/uni.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "To all the economically illiterate gaming-chair commentators on here"...........

      they need that many staff to support the 50 Dept Stores and 350 Grocery stores, although the detail in the story does mention that 244 staff are up for TUPE, so ~20% of that 1200 is for running the infrastructure and operations, not 50%, for a long lived organisation which can trace its IT heritage back many decades & has many thousands of systems it supports across 2 distinct operations spanning the country and abroad.

      some of the issue is that it has lots of grey beards, doing things in ways to be mindful of system XYZ, because its cheaper & because they could, but ultimately impacts the business down line as its now inflexible and can't easily utilise new cheaper stuff.

      This is the kind of business who hires new leaders who have no clue & then rely on management consultants to tell them what to do and end up making the same classic mistakes seen elsewhere as the same consultants (PWC, Deloite etc) are involved.

      we've all seen these downward spirals happen to other businesses before, they don't tend to end well.

      A good question is why does it need to pay for 2 instant messaging systems? The reasons behind that will likely explain why it's fighting for cash now.

    2. Sou

      You have a point .. There are many teams which have more than required numbers ... There have been number of reorganisattions in the last few years... More than once, they split the teams, which means more people were required in total to cover holidays, callouts etc. And then when they bring the teams back together, the numbers are retained. If they work out how many are really required, and move the excess resources to other IT areas with proper training, they can save more and keep people happy. The team members with less work dont want to admit it, as they were worried that they might be let go ... Poor management is the root cause of the high IT cost in John Lewis.

    3. vishal vashisht

      obviously an economist

      simples...because all those employees, the stores the groceries, the offices, everything NEEDS infrastructure! The servers don't appear by magic. The desktops don't look after themselves. The support structure because an accountant doesn't know how to physically open his laptop.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      dining-room chair commentator here...

      Firstly, it's not just 50 Dept Stores and 350 Grocery Stores - there are two (necessarily separate, because of the different fulfilment models) online businesses too. And the "operations" teams include people who directly support the trading arms (ie they require detailed knowledge of the application logic for the trading systems because that's what they fix - not just turning the servers off and on again). They are based in London and Bracknell because that's where the JL and Waitrose Headquarters are. I used to work there when the IT function was in a separate location and the "Ivory Tower" jibe that was often thrown at us was fully justified. You'd be amazed at how much better working relationships go when you're able to regularly meet your stakeholders in person (something that this outsourcing will shortly destroy).

      And accusing others of economic illiteracy whilst pulling an unreferenced £250k figure out of thin air?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look at what's not in scope - this week...

    Don't forget this is for core internal IT - Partners who currently support the inward looking functions. The John Lewis and Waitrose specific IT functions (e.g those teams that support store IT operations such as POS, Self Scanning etc and warehouse/DC systems) are not in scope of this. These are to be covered by separate outsourcing deals that are yet to be announced. No mention yet of the various Partnership golf courses and yachts being sold off....or all that acreage on the banks of the Thames. Anon for obvs.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing just DOESNT work

    I don't know why these C Suite idiots think that anything like this works.

    With the TUPE any favour the staff would do for the firm disappear. NO more free over time, no more hour here or there. No more short term weekend work. EVERY little job will become a "project" so that a 1 day image upgrade becomes a 2 month project with a PM, a 100 meetings and insane cost. All the BAU stuff such as patching will become left behind because BAU isn't profitable.

    All that outsourcing does it annoy the staff that have worked hard for you. Accenshite, KrappyMG or any of the other big outsourcers can't provide that "extra 40%" that working for a good employer gets you.

    The Service desk will have a 3 month turnover. WIPRO won't use local staff, they'll ship in staff from India on 6-12 month contracts being paid indian wages. You've seen what happened to Lloyds Bank within 6 months of outsourcing their IT function.

    The shame is that after outsourcing, the CEO and CIO move on to wreck havoc somewhere else with no come back. It's a bout time the Pension funds that hold shares long term start suing some of the directors that leave this trail of shite behind them.

    Anonymous because I'm still not clever enough to come up with somethign funny to Wipro,E&Y . I think PissPoorWC works though

    1. elsergiovolador

      Re: Outsourcing just DOESNT work

      Big consultancies got IR35 provided on the golden platter by inept government tools and this is going to be a new norm next year. Everyone will be moved on no rights employment contracts and then replaced by overseas workers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsourcing just DOESNT work

      "With the TUPE any favour the staff would do for the firm disappear. NO more free over time, no more hour here or there. No more short term weekend work. EVERY little job will become a "project" so that a 1 day image upgrade becomes a 2 month project with a PM, a 100 meetings and insane cost."

      Sounds remarkable similar to the attitude of the employees of another digital transformation company (mentioning no names), that many on here have had the misfortune of dealing with...

  21. ChrisElvidge

    Oh Sharon

    She noted in the memo that John Lewis's sales had shifted to 100 per cent online at the height of the pandemic from 40 per cent prior to the crisis

    Yes, well you closed all the shops because of the pandemic.

  22. elsergiovolador

    Thanks to IR35 changes we will experience much more of that as hiring specialists in the UK has become quite expensive due to increased taxes. Engineer caught by IR35 (which according to HMRC guidance includes most of the roles) will pay over 50% of tax on their income. I doubt many will be motivated enough to give half of their hard earned money to the tax man. We will probably observe some significant behavioural changes. People contracting their services may start different type of work, move abroad, retire or replace mediocre perms at a lower income.

    UK PLC is over thanks to short sighted socialist conservative government.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Previously CEO at comms regulator Ofcom

    Well rewarded for failure then.

    Didn't Call-me-Dave promise to abolish OFCOM? Oh, silly me, it was a politicians promise...

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