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IT staffing: permanent, contracted, outsourced?

For non-IT company, above 500+ employee, geographically not dispersed, what do you think about the best mix of IT staffing: which function should have permanent employee, which should be OK to have permanent or contracted mix of employee, and what can be wholly/partially outsourced?
The functions will be like: the backoffice, help-desk call center, pc-technician, IT security, LAN/WAN management, business/system analyst, developer, managers for each functions, etc.

Piotr Sawinsky
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

If that were an easy answer, whatever would new CIO's do? Speaking for my company, you definitely need employees as owners, analysts and application architects for each of your specialty applications. Consultants and outsourcing (assuming it works, wish it didn't) would do as needed projects, but you need some core employees who have a long term interest in the outcome of the application in the larger terms of the company's needs.

m
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

For that size of company it would be more cost efficient to employ IT support and specialist staff at the departmental level rather than outsource it.

Separating the IT function from the running of the business is a fundamental error, one which gets repeatedly made.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

m wrote, "...Consultants and outsourcing (assuming it works, wish it didn't) would do as needed projects, but you need some core employees who have a long term interest in the outcome of the application in the larger terms of the company's needs. "

IMO, in the "long run" outsourcing at non IT companies doesn't work.  Or to be more precise in many instances it is actually more expensive to outsource IT work (except for the quick n' dirty stuff) to another company.

The problem (to delight of all staffing/consulting firms) is that corporate managers don't stick around very long in one position (or one company) like they used to.  Since nobody is held accountable -- past mistakes simply get repeated over and over again.  How else can anyone explain how companies such as EDS stay in business?

One Programmer's Opinon
Wednesday, October 08, 2003


If your revenue is growing and you aren't sure it can be sustained -- THEN use contract staff.  Only create Full Time Employee (FTE) positions when you are certain you won't lay them off in 12 months.

JMHO,

Matt H.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

In addition to how long you expect to keep them around, consider how well you and the decision makers know IT... honestly evaluate how well you can attract, identify, and retain good IT people.

I have no accounting background, so if I were in charge of an IT firm I'd have an accounting firm do my books.  But if I were a programmer with a CPA background, or led part of a firm that knows finance and accounting (like a bank), I'd be more inclined to directly hire the accountants, using outsourcing during peak times.

T. Norman
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

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