Big business brings outsourced operations back in-house

Many of the world’s largest organisations are bringing IT operations and business processes back in-house and exploring alternatives, according to a study by Deloitte Consulting.

Areas that traditional outsourcing were expected to improve, such as costs and complexity, were found to be the main reasons for the companies’ unhappiness with outsourcing.

The study, Calling a Change in the Outsourcing Market, reveals that 70% of survey participants had “significant negative experiences with outsourcing projects and are now exercising greater caution in approaching outsourcing”. 

One in four participants had brought functions back in-house after realising they could be handled more successfully or cheaply internally. 

The survey found that 44% did not realise cost savings as a result of outsourcing. Two out of three employers (62%) found outsourcing required more management effort than originally estimated.

Nearly half of participants identified hidden costs as the most common problem when managing outsourcing projects.

“There are fundamental differences between product outsourcing and the outsourcing of service functions, differences that were overlooked but have now come to the fore,” Ken Landis, Deloitte senior strategy principal, told Personnel Today’s sister title Computer Weekly

“Outsourcing vendors and companies may have conflicting objectives, putting at risk clients’ desire for innovation, cost savings and quality. Moreover, the structural advantages envisioned do not always translate into cheaper, better or faster services,” he said.

According to the study, other outsourcing pitfalls encountered included:

  • 57% said they could not free up internal resources for other projects, leading to larger than anticipated deal management overheads
  • 52% ranked cost-related issues as the main risk of outsourcing
  • 81% said their supplier’s pricing and cost structure lacked transparency, which increased the risk of additional costs
  • 48% had no standardised methodology to evaluate the business case for outsourcing


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