Feeds

Insourced staff paid a pittance but don't want to leave

What's more important to you: cash or work/life balance?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

After the scourge of outsourcing rampaged across the industry in the 1990s and 2000s, you'd think any news of insourcing would be good news for IT professionals, especially those who prefer to work in a nice, warm, in-house IT department rather than the measure-every-minute world of consultancy.

At Australia's Yarra Valley Water, where 35 folks found themselves in a new job, the news was mixed, because while jobs were created they weren't well paid. Yet the new workers don't want to leave.

IT operations manager Craig Linley told the insourcing tale at Gartner's IT Infrastructure Operations and Data Centre Summit in Sydney this week and explained the company decided to insource after being challenged to find ten to fifteen per cent of savings in the IT budget. The fact Yarra Valley Water did not really get on with its outsourcer helped: Linley said the un-named outfit dropped the ball during handover from the previous outsourcer and never quite managed to convincingly juggle it for years afterwards.

Linley knew he couldn't pay market rates for skilled staff. Government entities in Australia seldom do, with stability, generous retirement savings contributions and flexible working conditions the trade-off. Yarra Valley Water therefore pays fifty to seventy five per cent of the wage skilled folks can get elsewhere.

35 people were happy to work for those wages.

“We appeal to young families who are sick of the daily commute who want to live within an easy journey of their workplace,” Linley said. “We attracted good staff through work/life balance.”

In almost a year since, just two have left. One was a square peg. The other only departed for family reasons.

Linley, meanwhile, has proved that insourcing pays: operational and capital expenditure are both down. The fact that Yarra Valley Water already owned its own kit helped. He's also had to remember that insourced staff take holidays and that time off means degraded capabilities. But that hassle is tolerable given measurement of users' attitudes to IT show vastly greater satisfaction levels and trust.

That's good news for Yarra Valley Water's IT department. Is it also good news for it's IT workers? Or for the folks at the outsourcer who may well have found themselves without a gig, either immediately or perhaps at all if outsourcing needs to go offshore to meet the price insourcing can achieve?

We'll leave those choices to you, dear readers. Do let us know if you value the folding stuff or a warm fuzzy feeling in the comments or here. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win
Redmond decides it won't replace Masters certifications, so lesser certs get more rigour
Pinterest diversity stats: Also pale and male (but not as much as Twitter)
Cats'n'flowers site latest to admit white men rule its roost
'Oh my god – Mark Zuckerberg wants to meet me'
'The Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple'
Dammit, Foxconn: Where's our 1 MILLION-strong robot ARMY?
'Foxbots' just aren't good enough to take up the slack
Devs: Fancy a job teaching Siri to speak the Queen's English?
Spik propa lyk dis blud innit, ya get me?
Bankers bid to use offshore temp techies
WikiLeaks publishes Financial Services Annex to 50-nation Trade in Services Agreement
Hey! Where! are! the! white! women! at!? It's! Yahoo!
In non-tech jobs, that is – still mostly white men running Marissa Mayer's web biz
Non-techies: The cute things they say
'OK, smartass, the firewall is blocking the proxy server.'
Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN
Think of the children? I just did, says Dom Connor
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.