13 April 2005

The Sponge is Wrung

| RandomGit
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Outsourcing has been kind to people like me. Too bad for everyone else.

I remember back when I worked with a colleague from the Government IT office during the stirrings of outsourcing. He was directed to put together a report on outsourcing and make it good. He handed in his first draft and subsequently had his eyes opened. Don’t make the report good, make outsourcing good. The envelope was pushed back along the desk and he started again from scratch.

Thus here we are several years down the track with most of these outsourcing contracts coming to an end. A track littered with the corpses of false hopes, discarded cash funnels from a million superfluous salesmen and whitened soggy cost reports showing the ever escalating price of management overhead. But look on the bright side, we have quality control now, right?

Have a F*CK!

Government offices all over Canberra have an ever increasing heap of checks and balances thrust upon them by their contract savvy IT providers. These things are designed to ensure the quality of, not product, but bureaucracy. Check and Balances on checks ands balances. It’s amazing the prole worker scum get a chance to put finger to code and actually produce a piece of software to do a job unrelated to project status tracking and reporting.

I don’t even want to touch on the soul sucking corporate culture we happy go lucky Aussies have had to endure. These places leak personnel like a sieve, I blame them for the recent explosion and subsequent implosion of LAN café’s across the territory.

So why should a lazy ass public servant put up with it? Here’s how it works. You make your proposal. All the client is thinking about right now is what they want to build to show off to the minister. So you tell them how good you are at building software, you throw some key terms at them like SDLC, OO, .NET and international talent. You get a nibble, then you give the ‘good’ news. You can make it in no time at all for bugger all price. You get a hit and reel them in.

And you make that software. You hire the very best……… graduates with zero experience and low initial wages that you can and churn out the most poorly conceived abomination spawning from a five year old sixteen bit application used already in the third world. Just give it a fresh virgin face and wala, product.

Then the customer is hooked on your new system and you rape their wallet through a never ending maintenance cycle, constantly fixing your own bugs and charging more for it all the time. Ensure you introduce new functions to an already flawed design to keep that bug tally up. The client will be so desperate to make it succeed so they don’t look a fool to the minister that they will invest all their emotional and financial resources into you so that you can easily feed tonnes of cash back to the USA.

Now the contacts are coming up for renewal and minds in government offices are waking up to this. Some are taking back what’s theirs. Public money going back into public pockets with the ruthless certainty of a government organization hounded by one of the most powerful unions in the country.

This is but a hint of the privatisation scam we are currently getting foisted upon us at all levels. But will we allow it in turn to become a smoking gun?

I’m told the public service in England recovered after Marge and her thrilling sequel within three years, so I’m not too fussed anymore. I took the mercenary way out myself and have decided to jump ship before it wrecks come contract end.

From Davey and me, the freshest public servant in the country, to you, the stinkiest old USAnian IT despoiler………..

Blow Me In Perpetuity!

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open source, unix or mac osx would be superior less intrusive IT platforms. i dont think anyone should care what platform is under their applications, as long as it just works.

I agree totally with what you say. I am sick to death of being told at open source, linux or whatever seminars “that in two years we will be able to … *insert appropriate application babble*”

I dont care about two years time, I got work to do and all I care about is now. Gates may be the son of satan and I may well have sold my IT soul, but the gear I have now, works and I can get what I want off the shelf. Now… Today…. I dont have to wait two years to get a product that I can get now.

Bonfire, if what you say is true, I want to work with you and your company. You can try a blase dismissal of my comments as fashionable all you like, it doesn’t change the facts of my organisation. Or most others.

You might be the exception. Please propogate your business model with all due speed.

random, random, random…

while it may have been fashionable once to portray this endless battle between bosses and workers, i think those days are gone.

as a MANAGER and i dont think i exhibit false consciousness, i assure you i dont sit here drinking lattes – i work just as hard (and harder in some cases) as those below me in the great ladder.

i could write a manifesto, but shant.

apropo IT, the sooner the entire business world falls out of love with windows the better.

Its driven by contractors because it creates work.

open source, unix or mac osx would be superior less intrusive IT platforms. i dont think anyone should care what platform is under their applications, as long as it just works.

anyway, im off to spray some pro international socialist graffiti on stanhopes office.

Sounds like the original poster has experience with Ipex^WVolante. Oh, and KAZ is now Telstra, queue the belly-laugh!

Therein lies your problem. Managers don’t want to have to USE anything. They want to talk talk talk, command command command and sit back on their lazy asses sipping boutique coffee while the proles scurry and turn over the compost for them.

When IT peirces into the heart of business, it will make the superflous managers turn to dust like the corrupt old vampires they are.

It’s sad,

the IT revolution has failed to produce the expected revenue gains and the main culprit is treating IT as a peripheral to business.

get the IT guys at the heart of the business, get them developing systems that they too have to use and suddenly it’s amazing what can be achieved.

Ship it to the periphery and that’s where it will stay.

Thats what I’m headed for. Thanks for the heads up.

Whats even worse than outsourcing is moving from a solaris to a windows environment.

daily crashes.

spam zombie servers attacks.

never talking to the same helpdesk dweeb twice.

sending me ‘satisfaction’ emails when they havent solved my problem.


But Defence is twenty years behind and doesn’t take well to change, so they kind of need to make this mistake in order to open their eyes to the need for internal cultural change. If only I didn’t have to pay for it this would be OK.

Or so I’m told. KAZ used to be Aspect, defence could surely do better in that regard………

My favourite outsourcing stories are the ones about people who take redundancy packages then end up working in more or less their old job for more money.

OT: to do the “read more” thing, you can just put “<!–more–>” (a HTML comment containing the text “more” and nothing but, in case it renders wrong) somewhere in the post, and WordPress will split it.

And against all sane advice Defence is determined to outsource its IT functions to KAZ computing in an effort to make things better.

Due to be signed off by the minister by the end of the month and then a 9 month transition period, at which time all the IT workers in Defence will say, hmmmm theres a skills shortage in Canberra for IT, I think I’ll go work somewhere else

gotta love it

The South Australian IT outsourcing deal was paying double prices (retail comparison, not even wholesale) for hardware. The excuse was ‘but we get an excellent deal on services in the contract’.

But estimates for services can be stretched out and grown to absurd proportions as opposed to finite hardware provisions ya drongo.

This would be the same company I’m leaving who laid out that scam. I won’t mention what they charge the ATO.

Lucky for us the IT outsourcing policy got canned by the time we started to consider it.

Apparently DITR ‘insourced’ their IT services back in-house late last year.

At my previous work they used to charge something like $70 to move a computer from one desk to another. The system would always die on the weekends, and you’d end up getting connected to somebody interstate to have them tell you that everything is working properly.

Your collection of Hasselhoff animations is disturbing.

Thank god i work in the private sector

silly pubes

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