IT is a cost factor?

, Oct 7, 2003

Richard Tallent has some thoughts on outsourcing/offshoring - very interesting. This reminds me that I've not yet written about one of my core beliefs in what is currently wrong with our industry - there is an almost universal tendency to view IT, and especially application development, as something that just costs you money. Now I have taken part in a fair share of death-march projects that ultimately were just a huge money dematerializing machine, for a number of reasons where each one merits its own blog entry. But I'm still puzzled that their seem very, very few people who think that turning an inefficient, largely manual process — let's say purchasing, procurement, customer relationship management, etc. — into something supported efficiently by an IT system might actually save money. From my perspective, the problem very often is that it's not in the manager's best interest to become more efficient - since ultimately, it might reduce the headcount in his department.
I'm really sure once a company does an outsourcing deal with, let's say, IBM or T-Systems, the company who is doing the outsourced work is going to work very hard to increase its efficiency, thereby reducing the amount of money it makes each month ... sure, and I also trust that the sun is going to rise in the west today.