Telco's IT Going Fast - Page 1

Mar 24, 2004

Allen Bernard

According to a new Deloitte & Touche survey of 42 global telecommunications firms, the industry, as a group, are increasingly off-shoring IT and call centers jobs as a strategy to decrease operational costs and enhance services.

While only 50% of those surveyed were doing any offshoring at all, of that group, 42% were offshoring IT first, said Phil Asmundson, deputy managing director of Deloitte's U.S. Technology, Media and Telecommunications group. At 24%, call center functions were next on the list but this is a harder sell since these workers tend to be unionized.

Of the IT jobs going overseas, application service development, programming and coding, and network management positions, are the ones going first.

"No.1 is it all starts with fact that telcos ... are struggling to maintain their revenue base, and so the real focus has been on cost cutting," he said. "What we found through this survey was offshoring is a great way for the telcos to continue the cost cutting while, in certain areas like IT, like contact centers, to have an opportunity, as you decrease costs, to actually increase the quality of the underlying service."

The survey, conducted by Deloitte Research, shows by the year 2008, five-percent of the industry's 5.5-million labor force, or 275,000 positions, will be off-shored. Saving the industry an estimated $14.5 billion in overall bottom-line operations costs. While, telcos lag other sectors such as high-tech and financial services, the practice is fast becoming one of the industry's most significant business trends.

Cost Savings No.1 Benefit

The benefits cited most often by those either engaged in off-shoring or considering the practice were cost reductions of 20%-30% by 2008; enhanced quality of staff supporting more technically advanced broadband and wireless data services; and accelerated time-to-market for advanced data services and applications.

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