Thursday, July 14, 2011

Outsourcing: Cost Effective or Unrealistic Expecations?

Monday night, the Trenton Public Schools Board of Education voted to outsource the IT department. Although I do not think this vote came easily, the decision was not feeling well. Having been in the field as a professional for several years, outsourcing may not be as cost-effective a solution as mentioned above.

During the last Board of Education meeting I attended where representatives Plante & Moran to discuss the current technological improvements, none of the answers or questions to understand that this has been a smooth transition to the new network-based Windows. While it is a great project that will cause much frustration to receive the adulation with which the contract staff to replace the technicians in place for a change of this nature, sounds bad.

After experiencing the companies had no choice but to outsource their IT department, I have seen the challenges. What about the potential for overtime, weekends and nights? Can the cost of this contract, increase mileage similar to a rental car? External technicians may pick up and go to the end of their shift, regardless of the outstanding issues? Probably not, but we have no details yet.

In this industry, nothing goes as planned. What if the district requires 50-70 hours per week instead of 40 or even reports that bring another technician for larger projects? If outsourcing ends up costing the district closest to the IT department budget 2011-12, how profitable was this decision?

It was a mistake of the Board not to hear at least the department with their counterparts in the first proposal. On the contrary, made a motion to vote on the decision and addressed the public comments section of the night. While they may have had his reasons not to hear, first, it seemed unprofessional given their jobs were on the line.

Outsourced employees have the option of job interviews which opened as a result of the contract, but if the two technicians always through inaCOMP are acting in a "break-fix" model, where does this leave the three positions in the technology? In the tradition of the industry, the district could move on to experienced employees and hiring entry-level graduates in place.

As for the company, inaCOMP is a successful company with two divisions, one devoted to small and medium enterprises, while the other provides sales and service to education and government entities. They have been around for twenty five years and have a great reputation in the industry. They are not to blame for the submission of its bid.

While nobody's fault and districts worldwide are cutting back ends, some students and most teachers will be affected as well. The IT department's relations formed around the world, especially those that may have contributed to your own IT staff issues are important and appreciated. As a coach, not just provide a service, but customer service quality. It is always sad to see employees that seemed to have been well trusted for many years, letting go without a fight.

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