Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Smart outsourcing or global offloading?


Financial services companies need to change their perception around outsourcing IT functions overseas, according to a panel of IT experts at yesterday’s Future of Banking and Financial Services technology conference.

Derek Goh, executive general manager in IT and Management services at Challenger Financial Services group said that the debate around whether to outsource IT functions should go beyond a review of the economic benefits or the chances of a public backlash arising from potential loss of jobs at home.

Instead he says it’s about finding out what is right for the company. “You can’t look at IT in isolation but in the context of the whole company.”

For example, Challenger looked within Australia for the best software company to provide some fund management functionalities but couldn’t find one despite doing the search for three months. But when they looked overseas, they found a software company in India that was the best match for what they needed.

Goh said that economic benefit or the cost of offshoring is no longer the main reason why some financial services companies go overseas. “The price points have moved. There’s no price differentiator anymore say, between India and getting the service locally because Indian companies have moved up the value chain.”

BT Financial Group’s head of IT infrastructure Richard Boxall said that being able to seek talent overseas, when needed, helps the company to stay competitive.
“It is a big component of the financial success of the group especially since sourcing those people locally is incredibly difficult."