Companies Want CIOs with Outsourcing Experience

Ann All

So you're a CIO planning to revamp your resume. Sure, it's nice to have an MBA, but most companies also want candidates with hands-on management experience.


In particular, points out InformationWeek columnist John Soat, they are looking for folks with a track record of handling multiple outsourcing deals.


As proof, Soat cites the recent decision of Australian airline Qantas to hire Jamila Gordon as its CIO based largely upon her experience managing outsourcing initiatives for IBM. Indeed, Qantas CFO Peter Gregg cited Gordon's expertise in managing big outsourcing relationships as one of the key qualifications that led Qantas to hire her.


Gordon's experience should serve her well, since, according to Computerworld Australia, Qantas has outsourcing arrangements with Satyam and Tata Consultancy Services (internal applications support and maintenance), Telstra (desktop and network infrastructure), IBM (security and change management) and Amadeus (departure control and bookings).


Retiring Qantas CIO John Willett tells Computerworld Australia that the airline "only outsource(s) the doing, not the thinking." IT governance remains in-house despite the company's extensive outsourcing activities, he says, and Qantas controls costs by, among other things, integrating technology upgrades into its agreements.


A similar shift in the CIO's role can be seen at Reuters, which just inked a $1 billion deal with Fujitsu Services to roll out a standardized IT platform across its global footprint, according to CNET. Some 300 in-house IT staffers will move to Fujitsu, leaving an internal service delivery team of 25.


In explaining the move, Reuters CIO David Lister says, "We see our role as service aggregator not service provider." Interestingly, Fujitsu will become responsible for the management of some of Reuters' other outsourcing deals.


The growing importance of outsourcing on the CIO's agenda is perhaps best illustrated by GM's Ralph Szygenda, who has made a series of multiple outsourcing deals a cornerstone of the automaker's efforts to cut IT costs and improve performance.

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