Unbounded Outsourcing

by

globe-109274_1280
I’m standing in the hallway of one of our client’s IT departments.  It could be anywhere.  To my right are spacious offices with floor to ceiling windows looking out into the city.  But no one is looking out the windows.  All of the offices are empty . . . they are all in meetings.
To my left are cubes full of people . . . sometimes two or even three people in a cube.  They are full . . . they are all working.
The offices are for managers, directors and VPs.  The cubes are ostensibly for the lower level employees, but they are actually full of a wide range of consultants, contractors and independents.
This is the state of IT in most organizations today.  Most of the full time employees left in IT organizations are those that manage the vendors, consultants and contractors.  Most of the people who do the coding, answer the help desk, reboot servers, and even train users are no longer employees of the company.  They work for someone else and just happen to be temporarily stationed at this client, on this project.
At 10:00, the doors to the conference rooms open and noise and management staff spill into the hallway.  For about 5 minutes, the hallway is full of life (and tension).  Managers and directors run into their offices to check an email or find a document or find the location of their next meeting and then they shuffle back down the hall. The conference room doors close.  It is quiet again.  The offices are empty again and the work keeps getting done . . . by people who don’t work for the company.
Clearly, most companies have decided that technology is not strategic to them . . . it is more important to get salary costs down than it is to invest in innovation and creativity.  And yet, the reason I am here, standing in this now-quiet hallway is that this company can’t seem to do anything creative with technology anymore.  Small competitors in their industry are killing them in the market.  This company’s revenues have stagnated, and the little guys are creating new products that are cutting into margins of products that were once very profitable.
I can’t help but wonder if the little startups have outsourced their development to Accenture, their help desk to IBM, and their infrastructure to Infosys.  Is it any wonder that a company staffed primarily by managers and directors that move work around from vendor to vendor would start to fall behind on innovation in their industry?  Is it really a good idea to have the majority of your technology staff employed by other companies?  Have these companies really thought through the implications?

READ MORE

Your Personality Is Showing

Your Personality Is Showing

There I was, minding my own business one evening, digging into my organization's SEO performance (as one does), when I came across something interesting. Search terms related to "MBTI" — or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel...

read more
Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Hello. My name is Monique, and I’m a change manager who hates change.   After years of receiving “consulting therapy” from various mentors, I am now able to say these words out loud and proudly. But for a long time, it felt more like an admission of guilt. I mean, who...

read more
Creativity as a Cure

Creativity as a Cure

The topic of creative solutioning has been front and center these days as we talk more and more about organizational adaptability in the face of dynamic and uncertain times. For example, I recently read about a project that got me thinking about specific priorities...

read more
Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Big news over here as we close out the year - we have been acquired by Pariveda, a 750-person consulting firm in 12 markets across North America! We are now “Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company” and I’ll be serving as the Managing Vice President continuing to lead...

read more
Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Dallas, December 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Pariveda, a leader specializing in solving complex technology and business problems, announces the acquisition of Thought Ensemble. With the addition of Thought Ensemble, Pariveda now provides holistic business strategy,...

read more
Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

It was about a year ago that we first started hearing about Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (SB19-085) and I knew it was going to be national news. We’d just gotten past the “Rocky Mountain High” jokes, and our lovely state was trying to break new ground...

read more
Disruption Is the New Normal

Disruption Is the New Normal

By nature, disruptors are not popular. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then they copy you.” We have all heard some version of this quote, and we have all seen it play out in real life. We've seen it with building...

read more
What Would You Say You Do Here?

What Would You Say You Do Here?

“I deal with the … customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills!” That famous Office Space quote from Tom Smykowski cracks me up every single time. I know Toms. I’ve been Tom. Change the quote to say, “IT Team” instead of “engineers,” and there’s a...

read more