SearchDataCenter.com sent me the story “Texas rebids IBM data center consolidation” today about the failed IBM outsourcing of the State of Texas IT. It hit very close to home – several years ago I was part of a state shared services IT organization that was outsourced to IBM soon after my departure. The Texas case study was held up as a successful example; of course, our executive management had hired the same consulting company, TPI, to make the outsourcing recommendation. TPI is a sourcing adviser and a unit of Information Services Group. [Looking at their website, I see TPI was just awarded a contract with the State of North Carolina to evaluate sourcing its IT. I hope someone at NC is on the SearchDataCenter mailing list!]
There is a lot of promise in consolidation, shared services and even outsourcing if done right. There are many IT services that can be “commoditized” and efficiently run by a centralized provider leveraging economies of scale. But it is not a no-brainer. It needs to be architected. And the architects need to listen to the people involved and be able to discern and separate valid concerns from the general resistance to change.