A series of leaks from US engineering giant Aecom has indicated that the company only decided to outsource its entire IT function to IBM last year in a bid to slash costs - but just a year later, the entire plan is now in trouble as experienced staff jump ship and their replacements struggle to cope.
Last year, less than two months after the $2.3 billion deal had been struck, it was reported that IT projects were already being delayed as experienced staff took redundancy terms, rather than re-apply for their jobs. Ironically, perhaps, one of the projects reportedly delayed was an IT consolidation programme intended to make the engineering giant's sprawling IT estate more manageable.
The new leaks have been made this week to V3's sister publication Computing as a series of staff come forward to reveal the inside story, including one who claims that CIO Tom Peck opposed the outsourcing plan, and another who has suggested that Peck is now "on his way out".
"The choice was financial not strategic. From my understanding it was the COO (who was let go) who said we would outsource. Aecom and URS [a construction firm acquired by Aecom in October 2014] grew through acquisitions for decades, and IT redundancies were never dealt with," claimed the latest source.
As such, they admit, Aecom's IT department had become overstaffed, with the company carrying a lot of legacy IT baggage. However, instead of tackling that head-on, the company decided to outsource the whole lot - lock, stock and barrel.
"When efficiency experts came in our IT was way too high for a company of our size, and instead of doing the tough job they outsourced," they told Computing, and suggested that the arrangement could unravel before the contract is even due for renewal.
Earlier this week, sources told Computing that Aecom was a "sinking ship" as a result, as the skilled IT staff who understood the legacy environments the company operated move on.
Last year it was claimed that Aecom would be retaining only 50 out of around 1,000 IT staff. The source added that IBM was focused on cutting costs and, hence, wanted to replace Aecom's staff with less qualified IT pros. "IBM just continues to downsize IT personnel for less qualified personnel or simply not hiring replacements," they told Computing.
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