21 October 2004
The causes of most major failed outsourcing projects go back to before they were outsourced.
John Yard, formerly director of business services at the Inland Revenue, told delegates to be absolutely clear about why they were outsourcing and what they wanted to outsource.
"Many of these big deals that went wrong did so because when there was a problem with the service in-house, people automatically said, 'outsource it'."
But he also warned delegates to be careful about bringing services back in-house.
The Inland Revenue ended a 10-year, £3 billion IT outsourcing deal with EDS this year after seven years and changed supplier to Cap Gemini.
It considered bringing the service back in-house but there were questions over recruiting skilled staff, said Yard, now a consultant specialising in outsourcing.
"We asked ourselves whether, if the work were in-house, we could attract, retain and improve the skills of enough suitably qualified IT people."