Texas rebids IBM data center consolidation project

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.