Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

Analysis And Procurement: Where The IT Jobs Will Be

November 19th, 2014

In a panel discussion with three prominent local chief information officers (CIOs) earlier this week at the event, those two familiar ideas kept recurring. Firstly, the need for IT workers to truly “understand the business”, with analytics as one way to add value in that area. Secondly, the need to be able to manage an increasingly diverse set of suppliers, especially when individual business units are sourcing their own tech.Outsourcing2

The upside is that this can change the approach to IT from a traditional penny-pinching mentality. “In our organisation we’re seeing a massive shift in demand from the business and as we demonstrate understanding of the business, we’re seeing lots of opportunities,” said Shaun Nesbitt, CIO for SEQ Water. “In the past all we had was a focus on cutting costs.”

Even when departments source their own tech, central IT can play a role in making sure data from those systems is cross-referenced and analysed, Nesbitt said. “The value IT brings to the table is the ability to look across silos.”

“In terms of skills, we’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions. We know we can’t do everything, and we know industry can do some things much better, hence there’s an increase in vendor management skills — so you can pick the right ones.”

That task has been exacerbated through the mergers of various authorities to form SEQ Water: “there’s a whole bunch of spaghetti that needs to be unravelled,” Nesbitt said.

For more specialised IT tasks, outsourcing remains a popular choice, which again brings procurement and vendor management skills to the fore. “The answer for me is outsource every time,” said Ross McKinnon, CIO for jewellery chain Michael Hill. “If I had to skill my guys on putting chips on motherboards or learning C, it’s going to take a lot longer than two years.

McKinnon’s preferred approach when outsourcing is to ensure some level of skills transfer, so there isn’t an ongoing dependency. He’s also a big fan of numerous small pilots, though that does mean not everything will succeed. “It means lot more piloting. We’ve had one running in three US stores for two months and we’ve found lots of bugs. Another has been running in Queensland for six weeks virtually bug-free, so we want to roll that out in January. The ability to work quickly and for shorter periods is going to become increasingly important.”

“The fundamental change is changing from the boxes and wire to information as a resource — being able to tap into information as a resource is a classic conundrum,” said Chris Turnbull, CIO for Queensland Treasury and Trade. It’s a technology issue that isn’t resolved by technology. At a practical level, the skills we need in house are markedly different: business analysis skills, and vendor management and procurement skills.”

Enforcing those changes is also complicated, Turnbull said. “There’s a management challenge there to understand the philosophy, the religious zeal for doing things in a particular way.”

Ultimately, IT isn’t going away. “Somebody always needs to interpret the technical world to an organisation, but it comes down to how that technology is used,” Turnbull said.

Source:http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/11/analysis-and-procurement-where-the-it-jobs-will-be/

Beware Techies: Jobs in IT companies will fall by 50%

November 11th, 2014

In a major setback for lakhs of engineering students, a research report by Crisil claimed that new hirings in Information Technology (IT) sector are likely to drop by 50 per cent over the next four years. Outsourcing26

The report might become deadly for aspiring techies across the country as the IT sector is one of the biggest employers in the private sector in India. While Crisil had predicted IT hiring at 1.05 lakh during the fiscal year of 2013-14, it has predicted a mere 55,000 hiring by 2017-18.

Currently, at least 24 per cent of total private sector jobs are created by IT companies in the organised sector. Economy of the country may see a major impact if the IT sector indeed drops number of hiring by 50 per cent. Here it can be mentioned that more than 7 lakh engineering students graduate every year.

Why IT sector may drop new hiring:

According to the report, jobs in the sector is slowing down because margins in the $118 billion outsourcing industry are under pressure. Indian IT giants such as Infosys, Wipro, TCS earn nearly three fourth revenues from North America and Europe. Both America and Europe are under pressure while it comes on growth. Hence, clients are asking companies to cut costs.

In its report, Crisil said that since employee salaries account for the biggest cost component for IT companies, domestic outsourcers are reducing bench strength, improving employee utilisation rates and reducing other operational costs. In 2013-14, employee cost accounted for over 60 per cent of total cost of IT companies, added the report.

According to sources, IT companies have been planning to migrate towards fixed price contracts. It will help the companies to eliminate the need for maintaining a large workforce for billing purposes. Such contracts weigh on hiring as revenue per employee goes up, Crisil notes.

Source:http://news.oneindia.in/india/jobs-in-it-companies-will-fall-by-50-per-cent-techies-beware-engineering-1558272.html

Ausgrid to offshore IT jobs

October 22nd, 2014

Publicly owned electricity distribution business Ausgrid is proposing to send 37 IT jobs offshore as unions step up a campaign to protect their workers’  job security.Outsourcing34
The United Services Union said Ausgrid management believes it can save $8.5 million a year by outsourcing the jobs to an overseas company.
The company has flagged the loss of jobs and the use of an overseas contractor to provide IT services.

A spokesman for Ausgrid said it is reviewing the delivery of services in its Information and Communications Technology division as part of a “business-wide restructure to reduce non-essential operating costs”.

“This includes 37 roles in the area of development and technical support,” the spokesman said. “The review includes discussion with unions and staff about the merits of these roles being outsourced to the external market. Ausgrid would expect any external provider to maintain a local presence.

“It’s not unusual for an organisation to test the external market to benchmark the efficient cost of delivering services.”

Ausgrid employs more than 270 staff in its Information and Communications Technology division. This includes labour hire and senior contract roles.

The spokesman said it is important for Ausgrid to “reduce costs in a responsible way so we can keep electricity prices as low as possible for our customers, helping to keep average price increases over the next five years to below CPI”.

“We also remain steadfast in our commitment to no forced redundancies,” he said.

The development comes as negotiations begin for a new enterprise agreement for Ausgrid.

Unions are fighting for the inclusion of job protection clauses that would prevent the offshoring of jobs, restrict the outsourcing of work, and protect staff from forced redundancies.

USU energy manager Scott McNamara said an internal review had found $2 million could be saved while retaining the services within the company, and $3.5 million could be saved by outsourcing the services to an Australian company.

“Ausgrid employees are deeply concerned by the potential loss of jobs and outsourcing of essential support services,” Mr McNamara said.

“For the sake of a few million dollars, Ausgrid management want to send the jobs of 37 loyal staff.

“Not only will they lose the experience and skills of these loyal staff, but service standards will likely drop as work is carried out by external companies in other parts of the world.”

Mr McNamara said the move would not help consumers.

“Networks NSW is driving cost cutting across the business, fattening up the network businesses for NSW Premier Mike Baird’s power privatisation,” he said.

“If electricity network companies are already looking to cut jobs and send positions overseas, it’s no wonder that staff fear massive job cuts from privatisation, which is what happened in Victoria when an overseas buyer took control of the electricity network.”

Source:http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ausgrid-to-offshore-it-jobs-20141021-118vh3.html

Outsourcing giant creates 300 coventry jobs

October 15th, 2014

Customer care provider Sitel UK is set to open a new branch in Coventry city centre creating 300 jobs.Outsourcing21

The US-headquartered company has taken 15,000 sq ft of office space on the fourth floor of Sherbourne House.

The deal was agreed by DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield, acting on behalf of Mapeley Estates, the landlord at Sherbourne House.

Sitel employs approximately 2,400 staff across six sites in the UK. The move will create 300 immediate new jobs with the expectation of a further 300 jobs in the medium-term.

Andrew Berry, associate director in DTZ’s office agency team, said: “This is one of the largest lettings in Coventry city centre in the last three years and demonstrates the renewed occupier enthusiasm for the city centre office market.”

Karl Brough, regional director at Sitel UK, added: “We chose Sherbourne House primarily based on its location as it offers a facility that can be easily supported from our head office in Stratford-upon-Avon.

“The excellent transport links available to the building via road and rail will facilitate staff recruitment whilst the quality of the building and the proximity to local amenity will enable their retention.”

Source:http://www.insidermedia.com/insider/midlands/125430-outsourcing-giant-creates-300-coventry-jobs/

Insourcing of IT jobs gains popularity

September 22nd, 2014

In a major reversal of the outsourcing trend, enterprises across verticals have started to build and strengthen their internal IT teams. They don’t want to depend on outsourcing service providers any more to gain the ‘India advantage’ in terms of low cost and talent, say experts.Outsourcing12

Companies like General Motors, AstraZeneca and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) have started to set up their own captive units or build on the existing ones to do IT work that was earlier outsourced to external vendors. The ‘in-sourcing’ trend has started and is here to stay, said David Smoley, chief information officer of AstraZeneca.

“It is a silent trend. Companies like General Motors are on it for the last three years. This is unlike the earlier outsourcing trend, which had people shouting from rooftops. So nobody is talking about ‘insourcing,’ at least not yet,” he added.

Global pharma major AstraZeneca inaugurated its offshore IT development centre at the Ramanujan IT City SEZ in Chennai last Tuesday. Starting with 60 people, the company plans to scale up to 300 by end of the first year. The overall strategy is to bring outsourced IT work back into the company’s fold to improve efficiency and time-to-market.

Eight global vendors including Cognizant, TCS, HCL and Wipro have been providing IT services to AstraZeneca.

The company’s aspiration is to cut down the amount of work outsourced to external vendors over the next 3-4 years, he added. For 2013, the pharma major spent about $1.3 billion on IT projects and services.

Large companies have started to recruit directly in India to build their captive units. They seem to have learnt from IT vendors how to go all-out to find the necessary talent.

“Our vendors focused on their profit margins and not ours. On an outsourced model, there are three or four arm links by way of vendors’ people working on projects, teams managing them and further teams from our side managing overall activity. By ‘insourcing’ work, we will have fewer handoffs and simpler controls,” Smoley said.

“We see a decisive trend in which large companies including the big four consultants have started to hire directly from colleges. They recruit students from across streams for their IT operations pretty much the way the IT vendors do it. They are trying to cut costs by hiring freshers directly from colleges to build their in-house IT teams,” said Sekar Viswanathan, vice president of VIT University.

Cost, though, is not the only reason for insourcing, said Vinod Baya, director- technology and innovation at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). As more businesses go digital, IT products become intellectual property, which cannot be outsourced.

“What is true is that IT is increasingly becoming a source of competitive differentiation. As a company, you’d want to own it because your vendor won’t know your business enough. As a critical part of the digital enterprise, technology becomes your business and not your vendor’s,” he added.

Outsourcing started to gain steam when companies set out to find experts to do non-core work. However, for most B2C businesses that have gone digital, IT has become a part of their core activity. For example, a company like FedEx uses a lot of technology and its IT is its intellectual property and a market differentiator.

“Even non-digital native companies have become tech players and they sure want to own their future,” Baya reiterated.

However, insourcing may not be the death knell for the Indian IT industry. From being vendors, they can now become partners, said S Ganesh, chief executive officer of D&B Technologies and Data Services.

“It is a great opportunity for Indian IT players. More so for the mid-size IT companies, which can now reach out to large enterprises with flexible pricing policies. We ourselves are setting up a captive unit and are more comfortable with mid-size vendors.

“The vast pool of talent was, is and will continue to be India’s biggest advantage. It is so difficult to build even a 20-member IT team in Europe. Enterprises including Standard Chartered, Pfizer and Goldman Sachs have their captives in India and continue to strengthen them mainly for this reason,” he added.

Indian companies will have to change their pricing methods, account management and delivery models to deliver services within India. IT work will become more collaborative and in future, vendors may even go up to the level where they can jointly own intellectual property, Ganesh said.

Source:http://www.mydigitalfc.com/opportunities/insourcing-it-jobs-gains-popularity-832

The benefits of outsourcing for a small business

September 19th, 2014

So your business is flourishing, and you’re taking on an increasing workload; the question is, how do you maintain this steady growth without compromising its core values and quality of service? There comes a time in every business’s life cycle when the issue of staff constraints begins to raise its head, and the question of outsourcing becomes a serious consideration.Outsourcing7

Firstly, why do businesses outsource? One of the main reasons is simply time – or lack of it. Small businesses, ones that are growing quickly and juggling lots of plates, simply cannot afford to have key members of staff overstretched to the point of ineffectiveness. Outsourcing offers a spare pair of hands to help manage busy periods, bringing in specific skills on a temporary basis, to help support the company and maintain the success it has built from the launch onwards. Using expert outsourcing organisations essentially frees up your staff to concentrate on the core of the business and to concentrate on developing their own skills.

Outsourcing can provide further multiple benefits. It can also help control capital costs by reducing overall spend on staff; hiring a full time specialist is much more expensive than using a freelancer to do the same job, who can be hired on and off dependent on the needs of the business.

Outsourcing also allows companies to turn on new projects quickly, reacting to market demands and fulfilling customers needs much more effectively. Customers can often request work that the core business might not be able to provide – outsourcing can help to meet this demand and draw in new revenue streams, which might not have been part of the existing model in the first place.

Further benefits which are important for all businesses, not just those at the early stage of their lifespan, are the expertise that outsourcing tasks can bring, and the risks it can mitigate respectively. Utilising external specialists can help breathe fresh life into a venture and offer a different perspective to a particular challenge, which can be vital when maintaining growth in a small business. In terms of mitigating risk, take hosting or working in the cloud for example; if you’re a small business utilising sensitive data, it can be much more effective to use an expert cloud hosting provider to look after it. Not only will they have the skills to do this effectively, they will also be much more aware of regional regulations and legal requirements, which in turn reduces the legal risk that could threaten your company in the case of a data breach.

Pitfalls of outsourcing
So now that we’ve covered some of the benefits of outsourcing, what are some of the pitfalls that can be encountered when working with external partners at this stage in the business?

One of the first points I would raise is the loss of control to an extent. When outsourcing to a partner, you are placing a huge amount of trust in the ability of their team to deliver on your brief. If the brief is poor, misunderstood, or the team working on it are not the strongest, then you run the risk of results being delivered that are not up to par. And in many cases you will still have to pay for these. This can be hugely damaging, especially in the early stages of a business when budgets are tight.

The second are hidden costs. When outsourcing, especially to service providers, there will be a limit to the amount of work that you are paying for, and so anything extra that arises will often be subject to further outlays. Being at arm’s reach with your external partner can often mean costs are not necessarily transparent when you first begin working together.

And finally, confidentiality can be an issue. No matter how much you trust an external partner, if you share data with them then essentially you are increasing your risk by relying on their security systems. In most cases this is never an issue, but as soon you share your data with another organisation the likelihood of a breach increases as it’s now in a location that is not under your immediate control.

While outsourcing can offer risks, for most businesses in early development stages it is a vital ingredient to success. Every business needs support at certain times in its life cycle, and so choosing the right partner can be the difference between triumph and failure.

Source:http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk/running-a-business/business-management/2470972/the-benefits-of-outsourcing-for-a-small-business.thtml

First IT jobs went offshore, now they’re being automated

September 3rd, 2014

The US and European IT roles that were pushed to offshore service providers will increasingly be automated, as the outsourcing giants look to preserve their margins. outsourcing30
By 2016 almost 1.1 million IT jobs are expected to have been sent offshore by major US and European companies.

The drive to send jobs abroad has, in part, been fuelled by low labour costs relative to western countries, with recent entry-level salaries for engineers in India falling between $4,200 and $5,900.

However, after years of double digit growth in Indian IT workers’ wages and with western customers demanding more for less, offshore service provider margins are being squeezed.

To protect their profits, major providers are beginning to automate an increasing number of roles traditionally carried out by systems adminstrators.

Milind Govekar, VP with analyst firm Gartner specialising in IT operations, said the push towards automation is partly being driven by the complexity of IT systems these service providers run on behalf of their clients.

“I often call IT an archaeological science, because nothing dies. You have generations of applications and infrastructure buried in an organisation. There’s a bank in the UK that has applications running from 1957. You can imagine the complexity that particular environment has,” he said.

“It’s a combination of old systems, new systems and everything co-existing. At the same time demand is going up as well, as almost all organisations have launched digital business initiatives.”

Customer expectations of service providers are also rising. Govekar referenced a large European bank outsourced to India’s largest IT services company TCS that expects demand on its systems to grow by 25 – 30 percent each year but wanted its costs to increase by no more than five percent.

“A lot of these service providers are saying ‘It’s just not sustainable to hire people and get them to maintain these systems’.”

For example, the CEO of TCS recently said in an interview the firm is working on up to 15 platforms to automate different aspects of its work. For its part Wipro is building its FixOmatic framework, which it says will enable automation of up to 40 percent – 45 percent of all level 1 and level 2 support tasks, reduce downtime and lower operational cost.

What sort of roles are being automated?

Automation software maker IPSoft has deals with some of the largest IT companies operating in India – such as Wipro, Cognizant, Infosys and Accenture. The firm is one of a growing number of businesses providing automation technologies for running and maintaining an IT estate.

A look what IPSoft does demonstrates the types of tasks that are being automated. The firm’s main product is IPcenter, a software platform that is designed to monitor and automate the running of IT infrastructure, and respond appropriately when a problem arises.

“If you’re driving a car a light will come on to tell you to go to the garage. What IPSoft is doing with their technology is basically trying to solve any issues before it gets to the stage where the warning light needs to come on,” said Martijn Gribnau, chief change officer at IPSoft.

IPcenter relies upon “virtual engineers”, autonomic software that can handle incidents across the corporate infrastructure – from configuring a misbehaving firewall to reducing the load on a server running virtualised machines. Virtual engineers control their own operations, monitoring the network for incidents and are able to adapt and change tasks if a higher priority incident occurs.

“It’s basically a third generation expert system. It’s not cognitive yet, but it’s smart automation of virtual engineers. What we basically do is look at what an engineer is doing and automate it,” said Gribnau.

The product is designed to automate what Gribnau referred to as level one and two support engineers, as well as part of level three engineers’ responsibilities, as defined under the Information Technology Infrastructure Library service management practices.

IPSoft says that IPcenter autonomically resolves an average of 56 percent of incidents without human intervention and up to 90 percent of level one support incidents.

What effect is it having on IT hiring?

Fierce competition for the hundreds of thousands of newly qualified engineers India’s universities produce each year has pushed up salaries and encouraged service providers to poach staff from competitors.

Gartner’s Govekar said as demand grows for outsourcing and external services, including cloud, providers are looking at automation as a way of “not hiring more people”.

“They are also using automation as a way of buffering themselves against this huge turnover of people, where people are jumping from one organisation to the other. They look at automation as a way of filling those gaps, of making sure that certain repeatable tasks that systems administrators undertake are very much automated.”

The desire to control labour costs is already evident at the major service providers. After years of paying engineers double-digit salary increases, Infosys and its competitors are offering no more than 10 percent this year, in spite of projections by the Indian IT association Nasscom that the industry will grow by 15 percent, an improvement on 2013.

When contacted, Wipro had no comment to offer and Infosys declined to share its views.

Source:http://www.techrepublic.com/article/first-it-jobs-went-offshore-now-theyre-being-automated/

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