Mainframe Outsourcing Misconception #9: Outsourcing is a Political Decision, Bound to Create Controversy that We Don’t Need

There is some truth in this statement.  Most outsourcing contracts tend to be assigned to the vendor of the platform that is being outsourced, raising potential concerns about bid competitiveness.   Even in cases where there are few qualified bidders for outsourcing work, creating a formal requirements definition to guide the outsourcing arrangement – with work reviewed each step of the way by a team representing key business stakeholders, audit, and tech-savvy IT staff or advisors, will help take the politics out of the choice.

Another political dimension of the outsourcing process is the fact that outsourcing is usually accompanied by a reduction in IT staff.  That can be true and you should consider whether there are some staff, who are nearing retirement age, who may be delighted to accept an early retirement, and in many cases, outsourcing vendors may be willing (and enthusiastic) to hire part of your staff to continue serving your needs and those of other customers.  Finally, core staff can (and often should) be retained to continue working with software applications or to explore new technologies that might benefit the company in innovative ways in the future.

Invariably, given the negative press that outsourcing has received against a backdrop of a recessionary economy, the term itself is “politicized.”  Truth be told, most mainframe outsourcing arrangements do not involve off-shoring jobs to foreign locales, but to in-country providers of technology services.  Under the circumstances, framing the strategy in strictly business terms – or as an optimization strategy with payoffs in terms of greater systems availability at a lower cost – is the best course of action.

Posted by Adrian