Service Provider Standardization, Courtesy of GM

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    My goodness. How can you resist an opening line like this?

    General Motors Corp. CIO Ralph Szygenda is in the midst of negotiating the largest corporate outsourcing deal in history, worth about $15 billion.

    That’s how ComputerWorld reporter Patrick Thibodeau opens his article titled, “Q&A: GM CIO Ralph Szygenda on outsourcing, IT's importance.

    (The interview with Mr. Szygenda happened before GM announced its layoffs of 25,000 people.)

    Here’s the most interesting paragraph from the interview in my opinion:

    At the same time, we're running standardization of IT processes that all those companies will use at General Motors. It will be the first standardization of IT companies working together and those companies have been at GM working tighter for a year and a half. So IBM has been sitting next to Accenture, next to EDS, next to Microsoft, SAP — in rooms together — defining processes that will run the IT business at GM and their businesses together and doing a thin layer of common processes that they will all use. … At the end of that, there is a potential they will use those processes in all other transactions whenever they work together, which could basically drive common processes into the IT industry — which I believe will drive the growth of revenue for these companies drastically. Right now, I think the IT industry is stymied by growth because of lack of standardization and commonization. When I bring in, let's say, Accenture and EDS to do business at a company … the first six months they have to figure out how they are going to work with each other. … Then they ask the customer to pay for it. That won't work. What that does is slow down the business.

    The standardization of offerings from service providers is something that Mr. Szygenda has been talking about for a year. (One day we’ll look back at his foresight and GM’s efforts in this area and consider it akin to what Wal-Mart has done for the acceptance of RFID.)

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