IT staff despair about crooked outsourcing

In-house IT professionals take a dim view of the jobs undertaken by outsourced workers, labelling outsourcing a “money pit” and blasting claims of a value return.

Recent research from software firm Lieberman Software showed that despite 71 percent of organisations outsourcing a significant portion of work, many in-house professionals think the ‘completed’ work is not up to scratch.

33 percent of those surveyed said that they trust the work of outsourced employees less than in-house staff.  

Almost half of IT professionals said that outsourcing agreements end up costing more than originally planned, while 64 percent even claimed that outsourcers invent work to bump up invoices.

According to Lieberman Software CEO, Philip Lieberman, this shows the “tenuous” nature of the relationship with outsourced staff and a general mistrust of expensive outsourced work. 

One health service IT worker said, speaking with TechEye, that the questionable level of quality rendered the whole purpose of outsourcing pointless.

“Outsourcing seems like a great big false economy; trying to save a few pennies in the short-term to deliver something costly to the operations of the business in the longer term,” TechEye heard.. 

“I’ve had experience where a system supplier of ours outsourced to India,” the health service worker said. “Any change requested by us would often take a long time to implement, would not always match the specification that was initially agreed upon and could sometimes have incorrect, yet comical, use of English.”

A prevailing view of the outsourced worker is that it directly impacts on jobs for in-house staff.

“They’re seen to take ‘our’ jobs and the work that’s returned often isn’t up to the required standard or just plain wrong,” the source said.

Overall, TechEye hears the whole outsourcing model “adds another layer of complexity to the design, build and test phases” and “increases the likelihood of errors along the way”.

“Most IT systems are fairly difficult to deliver and cost enough as it is,” TechEye heard.

Another IT professional at a well known international brand said that businesses risk hemorrhaging cash by employing an external workforce.

“Outsourcing seems like a huge money pit, and, even if it isn’t, the quality is so poor that the business will lose money by losing customers,” TechEye was told.

The IT professional outlined one example of when, as the Lieberman Software report contends, outsourcers were caught being somewhat ‘creative’ with invoices.

Our source worked at a company where a third party software outfit had been doing almost everything IT related for them.

“The IT manager and the supplier’s MD were very friendly,” the worker said. “I found invoices for ridiculous amounts for work that had never been done – like a report that would take a couple of hours to write which had been billed for tens of thousands of pounds, and never supplied”.

There were also staff who didn’t seem to know what they were doing.

“One of their “highly-skilled” staff had clearly had zero real training,” the worker said. “They just copied existing programs and kept fiddling with them until they kind of worked”.