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General Motors To Slash Outsourcing In IT Overhaul 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the bringing-it-home dept.
gManZboy writes "GM's new CIO Randy Mott plans to bring nearly all IT work in-house as one piece of a sweeping IT overhaul. It's a high-risk strategy that's similar to what Mott drove at Hewlett-Packard. Today, about 90% of GM's IT services, from running data centers to writing applications, are provided by outsourcing companies such as HP/EDS, IBM, Capgemini, and Wipro, and only 10% are done by GM employees. Mott plans to flip those percentages in about three years--to 90% GM staff, 10% outsourcers. This will require a hiring binge. Mott's larger IT transformation plan doesn't emphasize budget cuts but centers on delivering more value from IT, much faster--at a time when the world's No. 2 automaker (Toyota is now No. 1) is still climbing out of bankruptcy protection and a $50 billion government bailout."
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General Motors To Slash Outsourcing In IT Overhaul

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  • by Calibax (151875) * on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:49PM (#40596831)

    In-house staff provide a number of advantages:
            Quicker response from people who actually work for the same orgainzation
            Dedicated staff rather than whoever is free at the moment
            Familiarity with how your business operates
            Longer term institutional memory

    Which taken together provide long term cost savings, mostly because you are investing in your own resources.

    At least you are less likely to be training someone who will be working for your competitor on his next project.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:04PM (#40596985) Homepage Journal

      In-house staff provide a number of advantages:

              Quicker response from people who actually work for the same orgainzation

              Dedicated staff rather than whoever is free at the moment

              Familiarity with how your business operates

              Longer term institutional memory

      Which taken together provide long term cost savings, mostly because you are investing in your own resources.

      At least you are less likely to be training someone who will be working for your competitor on his next project.

      Smart, smart move by GM, who I do not often credit with making many. As a victim of outsourcing a couple times, I've seen how outsourcers operate - bring in the Crash team, of sharp, smart people, who gradually are rotated out to the next Crash site, while rotating in people with little to no experience who spend their days peering over the shoulders of others trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing (and once they have it figured out to some degree, they leave their employer for a wage they can actually live on.)

      • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:11PM (#40597043)

        Truth. This happened to one of my employers. We ended up buying out of the contract.

        Cost a major buttload plus screwed the company up for years.

        Then they went on a re-engineering binge.

        Put the final nail in the whole thing.

        What a bunch of clowns running the thing. They got their ideas about IT from playing golf with other CEOs.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by LifesABeach (234436)
          I am hoping that GM is NOT going to ask for 10 million H1B Visa requests.
        • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday July 09, 2012 @09:16PM (#40598395)

          They got their ideas about IT from playing golf with other CEOs.

          This is the downside to "professional" CEOs, people (MBAs) who train to be management and nothing else. Never worked in the company before, doesn't understand the business, but they sure can juggle the numbers as if the pieces of paper told the whole story.

          Which ups my admiration for the Steve Jobs/Bill Gates of the world who pretty much built it from the ground up and is in there real nitty gritty, or even Warren Buffett, who at least learns what he buys from the inside out and usually leaves the functioning parts the fuck alone.

          • by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @05:23AM (#40600367)

            They got their ideas about IT from playing golf with other CEOs.

            This is the downside to "professional" CEOs, people (MBAs) who train to be management and nothing else. Never worked in the company before, doesn't understand the business, but they sure can juggle the numbers as if the pieces of paper told the whole story.

            Which ups my admiration for the Steve Jobs/Bill Gates of the world who pretty much built it from the ground up and is in there real nitty gritty, or even Warren Buffett, who at least learns what he buys from the inside out and usually leaves the functioning parts the fuck alone.

            Actually, the problem is not the "numbers juggling". It is that they are incompetent at juggling numbers. The numbers, when looked at carefully, say that outsourcing for IT is a losing game and a huge risk in addition (except in a few rare cases). The problem is IMO, that the MBA types deep down know that they cannot do anything well and compensate by treating everybody as inferior. As IT people do not push back (they typically consider this game infantile and stupid, and rightfully so), they get plowed under. That means that first the good ones leave, refusing to play these stupid games, then the mediocre ones leave a bit later and finally only the duds remain.

            The second effect I see is that the MBAs very keenly feel their inferiority to competent IT people and hence try to move them as far away as possible, best into other companies or even out of the country. Stupid, but all too human and what is bound to happen when you put big egos with little skill in charge.

            I think what the MBAs really cannot get their head around to is that they are only support and help for those doing the actual work. They somehow think they are leaders and strategic thinkers, when in fact they are just bean-counters without any insight into the problems they are "managing". My impression is that that the MBA is fundamentally flawed insofar as MBAs are being taught that they are more important than those understanding the actual problems. Possibly an effect of all the competing MBA programs stemming from marketing, i.e. the "Do an MBA with us and you will be a highly respected leader". That is the wrong approach and cannot work well.

            On the plus side, there is a (still small) counter-movement: Evidence-Based Management. Of course the MBAs are not equipped emotionally and intellectually to practice that, so it will be a long and bloody battle. But without it we will see enterprises fail because their IT has become too dysfunctional.

        • by Shoten (260439) on Monday July 09, 2012 @10:31PM (#40598783)

          There's a deeper side to this. Back when EDS was still EDS, they were doing a pretty good job for GM. The problem is, HP bought them, and started to apply the same goals/metrics to the services side (formerly EDS) that they use for the product side (that was losing money, and makes fucking printers in the first place). Side note: here is where my self-control keeps me from using terms like "fucking incompetent faggots" and "galactic assclowns" to describe the piss-chugging buttmonkeys that displaced EDS' leadership. As a result, the quality of service that GM got dropped...and the value proposition of outsourcing went with it.

          Now, in all fairness, the fact that HP's leadership couldn't figure out how to get wet if they were dropped in the middle of the ocean is probably only part of the problem. Their ass-pounding mediocrity is probably also compounded by the current political situation and the drive to bring jobs back to the USA. So it's not entirely the fault of a bunch of circle-jerking sycophantic pole-chain-smokers. Just 99.99% their fault.

          Guess who I used to work for before I quit? :)

          • by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @12:34AM (#40599325)
            General Dynamics also dropped the EDS clowns a few years ago and went back to a full complement of in-house staff, after they got hit for the second time with a major infestation of spyware.
          • by Creepy (93888)

            Not sure why you defend EDS - massive mismanagement caused multiple contracts to be lost (for instance, OnSTAR), shedding massive amounts of jobs (I survived all 5 waves of layoffs, including the huge one in October 2001 [30%]), then they spun off nearly everything profitable to keep their stock from going junk. They had TWO profitable divisions (of 9) when my group was spun off, and they spun off the other profitable group shortly after. I don't know if any of the last 7 became profitable before the HP pur

    • by SomePgmr (2021234)

      Which taken together provide long term cost savings, mostly because you are investing in your own resources.

      Not that I disagree at all (or want to), but a citation or two on this would be good to have around if anyone has 'em.

      • by swillden (191260)

        Which taken together provide long term cost savings, mostly because you are investing in your own resources.

        Not that I disagree at all (or want to), but a citation or two on this would be good to have around if anyone has 'em.

        I'm sure HP/EDS, IBM, Capgemini, and Wipro can provide plenty of citations showing the opposite.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:18PM (#40597581)

          Posting A/C because I'm still working at HP...

          Mott was the king of cost cuts. When I started at HP in 2001, HP IT was awesome -- call a number, get an American tech who had a clue. They would even come to your desk, if necessary. Mott "transformed" IT by:

          -Laying off lots of IT workers
          -Forcing most of the remaining IT workers to move to a single location in Texas, or be fired. No telecommuting allowed
          -Making it impossible to purchase any software not on a short "approved" list. Even if it was $20
          -Requiring almost all IT issues to be entered into a web-based ticket system -- an overloaded system that was often slow or down
          -Limiting telephone support to nearly nothing. Login screens directed employees to "use a co-workers PC to enter a ticket"
          -Requiring users to categorize their own tickets. However, the categories were impossible to decipher and I estimate well over 50% of tickets were mis-categorized. Further, mis-categorized tickets were summarily closed as "Resolved" with no hint on what the correct category might be. Further, even if you categorized your ticket correctly, but the level 1 tech didn't find your issue in his checklist, your ticket was closed as "Resolved" -- even though they had NOT resolved your issue.
          -Eliminated desk-side support, forcing 6-figure engineers and managers to do time-consuming IT tasks such as re-imaging rather than paying less expensive IT staff to do the same thing. Further, for hardware failures they shipped you a new PC via UPS/FedEx so you had no working PC for several business days.

          I'm sure all these things saved a ton of money -- for IT. However, it cost the various other HP business units giant wads of money in lost productivity. Since the productivity didn't show up on IT's cost sheet, it didn't matter to Mott.

          • perhaps he was told that he either cut the IT costs by X amount of money or outsource it all.

          • This is a metrics problem. Management typically has to perform versus metrics and if the metrics are shit, the product will be shit as well. "cut IT costs" is a terrible metric by itself given that IT is pervasive to the functionality of a modern corporation.

            • by rhsanborn (773855) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @08:49AM (#40601085)
              I worked for a while in state government. The IT department had established metrics for all products and services. If the Treasury department wanted a new PC (and the associated management, imaging, desktop support, etc) there was a fixed cost for that, and the Treasury department paid IT for the services it performed. This has a lot of administrative overhead, but it means that "IT" isn't a cost, they actually generate revenue. It forces the consumers of IT to justify their expenses. IT is in a terrible position having to describe why we spent XX amount of money on this particular system, or why we own this many PCs. They ought to be involved in finding out, but the users of the technology need to be involved and need to justify their own use of technology, and aid in making decisions about necessity.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is far to general a point to prove using studies. Basically, no study can get around the fact that the choice of whether or not to outsource is highly influenced by existing conditions in the company, which in turn are correlated with the outcomes the study is trying to measure.

        So basically we have MBA types (who are biased towards the fashion of the day), vs IT types (who are biased towards whatever they perceive as maximizing the demand for IT employees). IT professionals, like all people, develop

        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          lol

    • Not just that. Most large companies want at least some in-house IT people: architects, integrators, project managers and business analysts who understand the business and the company. Two common problems I pick up at large corporate clients:
      - The best and brightest of the contractors are quickly promoted to bigger and better things... at a different company. There's your loss of insitutional memory.
      - It turns out to be almost impossible to hire and/or nurture employees for these positions, and even har
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:16PM (#40597077) Homepage

      Another big advantage: No middle-men.

      The way that IBM makes money managing GM's IT infrastructure is to pay their people less than GM paid IBM, say 25% less. So if you're GM, you can go to the guys who are currently doing your work and getting a paycheck from IBM, and say "Hey, how would you like a 15% raise to work for us doing the same job you've been doing all along?", get a lot of people to say "Great deal!", and you've just gotten a 10% cost savings.

      • by Raistlin77 (754120) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:29PM (#40597199)
        10% cost saving which you will likely need to help your new potential employees fight their non-compete contracts with the employer that you just poached them from. And possibly to fight your own lawsuit for poaching them in the first place. Outsourcing firms are typically fully aware of the possibility of losing their mostly underpaid workforce to their clients. Most have non-competes in place for this very reason.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          Easy. Find ex-IBM people that were laid off when their jobs were sent overseas. There are a lot of them so it probably won't be hard to find one in your area with the right skills.
      • by swalve (1980968)
        The one thing IBM does for that "middleman" premium is guaranteeing service. If their sub fucks up or goes tits up, IBM will get someone else there. Depending on the size of the organization, that sort of redundancy may well cost more than 25%.
    • by sapgau (413511)

      Also... you get to talk and work with your actual users.
      You get immediate feedback, even directly between developer and user.
      This interaction creates new business rules that stay in house that could put you ahead of your competitors.

      If you are in control of your IT you are not at the whim of your contractors, no rush to upgrade to the latest version, you get to understand what gets more priority in your IT assets.

      Lots of benefits if your business depends on having IT running your business and giving you "bu

    • Less overhead and less sub contractors.

      Also easier to have people work overtime as some contractors don't want to pay overtime.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:33PM (#40597715)

      You only outsource general functions like IT, payroll, maintenance and so on when you are small enough that it makes economic sense to do so. When the amount and kind of service you need is such that it would cost more to employ people in house than to outsource it, you do. However when you get large, it is silly to outsource. You can get it cheaper in house since you are large enough to need the equivalent of many full time people working for you, and if they are outsourced it is just another layer of cost.

      A small business of 5 people? Ya you probably want to outsource IT needs (and other stuff). It would be infeasible to hire an IT person and have 17% of your staff be IT. A company of twenty thousand people? Don't outsource it, you will need a hundred plus IT people anyhow, might as well have them work directly for you.

      • by rsborg (111459)

        When the amount and kind of service you need is such that it would cost more to employ people in house than to outsource it, you do. However when you get large, it is silly to outsource.

        Many very large companies (Apple, Microsoft, Google included) outsource some of their IT work to increase flexibility. Implementing a new Oracle/SAP module? Hire proficient folks on-demand, and manage them with internal employees. Of course, doing this kind of work requires a lot of proficiency as you need to prevent contractor and subs from gaming the system, but with a large enough scale it can be economical and provide strategic agility.

        That said, I'm glad GM is doing what is likely the right thing - c

    • by bouldin (828821)

      Here's another advantage: your internal IT organization doesnt skim a 20 - 30% profit off the top.

      Seriously, proponents of strategies like outsourcing and privatization always talk about how these companies increase efficiency. But, since they always have a profit motive, these companies must operate (say) 30% more efficiently just to break even.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      In theory there are lots of advantages, but most of them are negated by one thing - they know they're a monopoly and act like it, unless they're in immediate fear of being outsourced. Most IT departments work so that when nothing is wrong they don't get much praise but when shit hits the fan they're the one taking it so most of them become notoriously conservative. The people that raise to the top are those who haven't caused any shit storms, breeding more conservatism. So yes good response time, but not if

  • They should be done with hiring right around the time they file for bankruptcy again.
  • Just about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:52PM (#40596863) Homepage

    It's been about 5 years or so since all IT was outsourced.
    We're right on time for managers to start the in-house cycle again.
    Good luck in the next 5 years and see you all again on the jobmarket in 2017!

    • It's been about 5 years or so since all IT was outsourced.
      We're right on time for managers to start the in-house cycle again.
      Good luck in the next 5 years and see you all again on the jobmarket in 2017!

      This would be part of the 50Billion dollar bailout to increase the number of H1B workers since there are no longer enough trained IT workers in the U.S. Then the Govt (insert your political party here) can claim that they created "X" amount of jobs, even if they go to H1B workers.

    • Re:Just about time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gmanterry (1141623) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:13PM (#40597061) Journal

      I worked for a large electric utility in IT. We had to submit competitive bids against private companies to provide IT service. We usually were under bid and the IT contract was awarded to an outside company. Usually the service the utility received from the IT people they hired was good at first but soon the response started to slow. Now, when you have customers coming in the front door trying to pay bills and the customer service rep's computer is down, that is the worst of the worst scenarios. I makes an unhappy customer and no way to easily collect payment from the customer. Five or more customer service reps without the tools to do their job is not good. A few times like this while having to wait for the contract IT guys to show up, usually underscores to management the value of having in house people who are able to respond immediately. So like someone said, it went in cycles. In house - contract - in house - etc. They figure when times get tough that they'll take the savings, until the service just gets too bad and the the multivibrator of management flips again.

    • by OhPlz (168413)

      Seems to me this would improve the jobs numbers slightly and play to team Obama's "Romney was an outsourcer" campaign rhetoric. So, I'd shorten the back-to-looking-for-work interval to post November of this year, depending on the election outcome. It's similar to how right after the WI recall failed that the President was speaking about hiring more firemen and teachers, both are union strongholds and could push against the right-to-work movement. The timing is incredibly convenient.

    • by KhabaLox (1906148)

      I didn't read TFA. Does it say they are going to hire in the US? The multi-national I work for has some local IT staff in the US offices (mostly related to the hardware infrastructure we require for operations), but traditional help-desk support is out of India.

    • It's been about 5 years or so since all IT was outsourced.
      We're right on time for managers to start the in-house cycle again.
      Good luck in the next 5 years and see you all again on the jobmarket in 2017!

      It's not often that I get to play the role of optimist, but this is one of them.

      Oh, I've no doubt that in 5 years Corporate America will cook up some new fad to once again make employment a misery.

      But face it - outsourcing, offshoring was about the bottom of the bucket. I mean yes, they said it could get worse - when India got too expensive the outsourcing would head to Africa, but most of the parts of Africa that have the resources to outsource are probably more expensive than India, and the ones that don'

    • Development has been outsourced more than 5 years. The big organizations also have a tendency to outsource to more than one contractor or consulting service to work on the same project which means trying to get these organizations to work together and that is a gigantic pain in the ass. Especially if the outsourced developers work for competing consulting or contracting firms. Add the fact that most companies are discovering you get what you pay for when outsourcing internationally where developer salaries

  • Not sure how you are measuring size but:

    "Volkswagen has retained its place as the number one car company in the world, according to the Forbes Global 2000 companies survey."

    "US poster boy General Motors came in seventh position among the car makers"

    Forbes’ top car makers for 2012
    Volkswagen – 17
    Toyota – 25
    Daimler – 37
    Ford – 44
    Honda – 59
    BMW – 61
    General Motors – 63

    • by Talennor (612270)

      Pretty sure they were using by volume. Possibly the 2010 numbers [wikipedia.org]

    • by Aphonia (1315785) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:04PM (#40596983)

      Uh...: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry#Top_vehicle_manufacturing_groups_.3Cby_volume.3E [wikipedia.org] (which does put Toyota #1 and GM #2)

      If you had bothered to read the article you copy-pasted that from, "Volkswagen has retained its place as the number one car company in the world, according to the Forbes Global 2000 companies survey.
      The report ranks the world’s biggest companies across an equal weighting of sales, profits, assets and market value. The result is a company ranking in order of size, with 66 countries represented in the mix." (http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/rankings-worlds-biggest-car-companies-20120420-1xc14.html)

      Think of the brands VW owns versus the brands that GM owns.

    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      Largest relative to automaker is always volume. The measurement you are speaking of is "an equal weighting of sales, profits, assets and market value" and that list is all companies, not automotive, so obviously volume means nothing since Kellogg's doesn't sell automobiles.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      My biggest gripe with GM was how my car, once 25 miles over the Power Train Warranty was abandoned by the automaker when a headbolt broke. Why did it break? You couldn't reve the engine past 5,000 rpm! They're attitude was 'Normal Wear and Tear' that was at 30,025 miles. I'm still irked about it. I hope they are a lot smarter automaker by now, you are only as good as how well you stand behind your product - and if it's got problems you fix them, you do not run away from them!

      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        Tommy: Let's think about this for a sec, Ted. Why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.
        Ted Nelson, Customer: Go on, I'm listening.
        Tommy: Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.
        Ted Nelson, Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.
        Tommy: 'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Te
  • by Spad (470073) <<slashdot> <at> <spad.co.uk>> on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:02PM (#40596959) Homepage

    I presume that Slash Outsourcing is Slashdot's latest unwanted "channel" to go with that Business Intelligence nonsense?

  • From the article, "Data center consolidation: GM plans to go from 23 sizable data centers worldwide to just two, both in Michigan. "
    Note the locations, or should I say location. Is Michigan so big you can get physical diversity?

    • by jd2112 (1535857)
      Perhaps they should put one in Windsor, ON instead...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Yes. Michigan is enormous. It's farther from the Detroit to the straits of Macinac than it is from Detroit to New York City, and the straits are only a little over halfway to the border.

      It also has an unusually high-reliability power grid. (It had to be designed for some severe storms and icing.) During the great northeast blackout the problem propagated to the Detroit Windsor boundary, Detroit Edison's equipment detected it, and cut off from the east coast. Pick a spot (like the west side of Ann Arbor

      • Re:Design Flaw? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Darth_brooks (180756) <clipper377NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:22PM (#40597617) Homepage

        Let's start with all the stuff you missed:

        -As the google map flies, it's 289 miles from the D to the Big Mac. It's about 600 to NYC. (Although it is about the same distance from Detroit to Ironwood, MI, which sits on the Michigan / Wisconsin border. )

        -Consumers Power handles most of the non-DTE grid space. DTE's western border is about 20 miles from Ann Arbor's west side

        -During the Northeast blackout, plenty of (I dare say most of) the DTE grid went down. The cutoff was where the grids switched over in either Flint of Jackson. We were back online a little faster than most places, but we were down for 24+ hours.

      • by swillden (191260)

        Michigan is enormous. It's farther from the Detroit to the straits of Macinac than it is from Detroit to New York City, and the straits are only a little over halfway to the border

        Huh?

        Just measured (with Google Maps): Straight-line distance from Detroit to the strait is ~255 miles, driving distance is ~288 miles. Straight-line distance from Detroit to New York City is ~480 miles, driving distance is ~614 miles.

        New York City is roughly twice as far from Detroit as the Strait of Mackinac.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Yes. Michigan is enormous.

        Born n' raised in Michigan, living in Texas.

        MI is a lot of things, but enormous it ain't.

    • Re:Design Flaw? (Score:5, Informative)

      by spire3661 (1038968) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:41PM (#40597303) Journal
      Michigan is roughly as big as the U.K., maybe that will bring some perspective.
  • Given that this is GM, this might set off a few ideas in MBA-land that will be beneficial to IT at large. A huge company bringing IT back in house? Amazing how things come back around... kind of like the cloud.

    I actually work for a service provider (not doing hands-on support but engineering work for customer projects.) If you are absolutely, completely not dependent on IT, or too small to have your own IT department, outsourcing is one way to go. Big companies I've been at that outsourced IT have almost al

  • Hooray! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DCFusor (1763438) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:24PM (#40597149) Homepage
    I'm a GM guy, FWIW, and I own a Volt, which I loved at first, and now I love more - it grows on you, especially when you can charge it off solar power. But...the GM web presence is the absolute worst written software I've ever experienced on the web - and I've been here since the BBS days.

    I'm thinking specifically about the MyVolt site. Ok, it's mostly a bunch of ads and info on the Volt - obviously mainly motivated by brain-dead marketing, since it's also the main place owners go to check their car's status.

    So, you push the log in button. Though there's room on the page, oh no, we have to pop up a window to log in on - meanwhile, the animations on the page behind are still loading and running blocking code that makes my other web apps stutter. After maybe 10 seconds, you get the log on window, with it all filled in (thanks firefox) and click the log in button....and you wait, and wait, and wait. Meanwhile, the button you clicked doesn't grey or disable, and clicking it again breaks it. Finally, you're logged in and it starts trying to talk to the car to see what the state of charge is for you. This takes at least two minutes, often ending in "we failed to contact the car, try again?". During those two minutes, it's busy drawing an animation of the state of charge, in blocking code, so my other realtime (stock trading and TV) apps stutter. And, if there was already valid info on the SOC meter, it gets wiped up while you are waiting. It can take over 5 minutes to find out state of charge on this app! Every single page element is reloaded from scratch and re-initialized in response to every single user action, often wiping out valuable data you had already showing each time. And yes, it logs you out every 30 min - during which time you may or may not have gotten the data you wanted. This site must hit 5-6 different (all slow) servers for each redraw. It's obviously done by drag-drop-monkey tools by someone who doesn't even know how to do that, plus a lot of pretty but useless art from some marketing idiot - owners don't need to see more crappy ads for something they already own (are you listening too, Amazon?).

    Anything, and I mean even a site writen by a 13 year old retard who was the nephew of a GM exec would be superior. Thank god, the Volt runs linux in a cluster...that was done mostly inhouse and by IBM, who at least have a clue.

    • Of course the "13 year old retard" would not have to listen to all the marketing and management bureaucrats, so he starts with an advantage. Maybe you should just install a separate browser just for the volt so it doesn't screw up everything else :)
  • by rollingcalf (605357) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:30PM (#40597205)

    And they are the king of cost-cutting. They outsource many other things, but still insist on keeping their IT in-house.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:35PM (#40597241) Journal
    What was high-risk was outsourcing to the likes of IBM, HP, CapGemeni, wipepro, etc. who outsource the work to India or China. That information is then able to be used against GM. Real stupid on GM's part.
  • Seriously if they screw this up they just get another bailout. It's a win win for them.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:03PM (#40597479) Homepage

    I have a simple rule:

    Out-source monkey work. If it's something you can write instructions for that're sufficiently clear and detailed that a moderately-housebroken monkey can follow them successfully, it's a candidate for outsourcing.

    In-source anything requiring intelligence, business knowledge or judgement. If you're depending on the people doing the job to know what they're doing and do it well then you want people that you have control over, you don't want people who answer to someone else. To find out who they answer to, ask one question: "Who signs their paycheck?". That's who they answer to.

    Regardless of the above, in-source anything where a failure will cause a business interruption. If it's going to stop your business from operating if it's not working right, you want the people responsible for it under your control and answering to you. That way you can decide whether it's worth the overtime to keep them in until it's fixed. You do not want that decision left in the hands of someone whose business isn't being impacted by the problem and who won't suffer if the problem continues.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Would I be correct in summarizing that as if you shouldn't be doing it or it doesn't matter, outsource it, otherwise insource it?

      I have seen outsourcing success in short term projects... in the telecom world if you're doing a forklift upgrade of a PBX, either you don't have enough people or you have way too many full timers (or you've only got like 50 phones... I'm talking about 1000+ phone offices).

      Also I've seen outsourced cabling work go pretty well. Horrifically expensive compared to insourcing to a no

    • by tomhath (637240)
      Outsourcing only makes sense on projects that require a specific skill set for a limited time. Kind of like hiring an electrician instead of learning the code and trying to do it yourself. If the job needs to be done from now until eternity, hire someone to do it.
      • by Todd Knarr (15451)

        I'd disagree. I think it's more a question of whether it's a commodity skillset or not. For instance, janitorial work, or cable pulling. Both are commodities: the work's the same no matter who it's being done for. One's long-term while the other's a one-time project, but in both cases you're probably better off contracting the work out.

        OTOH, a database conversion's going to require specific skills and is likely a one-time thing, but you're well advised to have at least the top people running it be your own

  • Seventy-five percent of GM's sales are overseas, and their fastest growing market is China, where they are beating Toyota. GM American autoworks export almost nothing. This multinational company, like many other US multinationals, will not be bringing its foreign income back to Uncle Sam. Therefore, bringing IT 'in house' means hiring where their sales growth is -- China & the rest of Asia. Who knows, they might buy Wipro. Remember, they once bought and sold EDS.

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