From bangalore to boston: The trend of bringing IT back in

From Bangalore to Boston
The trend of bringing IT
back in-house
February 2013
Table of contents
Insourcing drivers
Challenges of moving to an insourced model
Selecting the right insourced organizational model
From Bangalore to Boston — The trend of bringing IT back in-house
From Bangalore to Boston
The trend of
bringing IT
back in-house
The last two decades have seen a phenomenal rise
in the outsourcing of Information Technology (IT) to
external service providers. The driver for this trend has
largely been economic, since outsourcers often offer
more competitive price points for the same services at
comparable service levels. Beyond cost savings, companies
also use outsourcing to drive their IT strategy — the choice
of focusing on core, strategic competencies and relying
on a network of external service providers to perform less
strategic functions. In recent years we have witnessed a
small but growing reversal of this trend where companies
that have previously outsourced functions are bringing
them back in-house. This trend is generally referred to as
A full 48% of respondents in Deloitte’s 2012 Global
Outsourcing and Insourcing Survey1 (The Survey) reported
that they have terminated an outsourcing agreement early
for cause or convenience. More importantly, 34% of
those who terminated a contract for cause or convenience
chose to bring the work back in-house. While the large
majority of clients chose to move to a different service
provider, it is worth noting that insourcing has become a
viable option, particularly in the event that an outsourcing
transaction did not meet expectations. In this paper we
examine the insourcing trend, its drivers and discuss the
opportunities and challenges associated with insourcing.
1 An executive summary of survey results is available
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Insourcing drivers
Improve customer service: Based on the results of
The Survey, the single biggest driver for insourcing was
the need to improve customer service and customer
experience. This is particularly relevant when customer
facing functions are outsourced and moved to offshore
locations. Voice-based functions, such as call centers,
come under direct scrutiny due to issues such as language,
accent and contextual familiarity of the call center
representatives. Such scrutiny can often lead to real or
perceived concerns about the quality of service. These
concerns are less severe for transaction-based processes
and back office related IT processes/functions that don’t
directly touch the end customer. In The Survey, 100% of
respondents who brought work back in-house indicated
that improving customer service was a driver in their
Other examples could be functional requirement
definition, code development for critical systems, policy
and procedures management and User Acceptance
Testing (UAT). Depending on the client industry, regulatory
constraints could also result in a need to improve internal
control over certain processes or functions. As indicated
earlier, much of the outsourced work is done in offshore
locations. In some cases, recent regulations have
mandated that certain types of data and certain functions
be performed within the country where the organization’s
customers are located. The Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is one such example. Other
companies find compliance with certain standards, such
as Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards
to retard their ability to maintain successful outsourcing
Improve controls: 77% of The Survey respondents
indicated that a key factor for insourcing was to
improve control on the functions that were previously
outsourced. It is not uncommon for organizations to feel
uncomfortable with a perceived loss of control when
functions are decoupled from traditional IT organizations
or moved to an output or performance based model.
Organizations can overreach in their effort to outsource
and include functions in the outsourcing scope that
should, perhaps, be left in-house. IT Architecture, for
example, is at the heart of an organization’s IT policy and
contributes to the organization’s IT Strategy and roadmap.
Outsourcing such a function can result in a perceived loss
of control over the technology direction.
Cost reduction: It may seem counter-intuitive that 77%
of respondents mentioned cost reduction as a driver
for insourcing. After all, cost reduction can often be
the main driver to outsource work. However, in some
cases organizations may not be able to realize projected
economic gains from their outsourcing program. This could
be due to several factors, including:
• The need for additional internal quality control due to
poor quality from the outsourcer
• An increase in true price of service delivery through
scope “creep” and excessive change orders
Thus, when combined with some of the other factors
mentioned above, if economic gains are less than
expected, an organization may choose to bring some or all
of the previously outsourced work back in-house.
From Bangalore to Boston — The trend of bringing IT back in-house
Insourcing drivers (cont.)
Figure 1: Drivers of insourcing in case of post contract termination — Deloitte’s 2012 Global
Outsourcing and Insourcing Survey
Improve customer service or customer experience
Improve controls
Reduce operating costs
Access more flexible human resource models
Desire to consolidate (assets, resources)
Gain competitive advantage
Leverage new Technologies
Gain tax advantages
Very Important
In addition to the three drivers discussed previously, other
drivers can influence an insourcing decision. Notable
among them is the desire to consolidate internal assets and
resources, which can often reflect a shift in organizational
philosophy from outsourcing to IT Shared Services (ITSS).
Outsourcing decisions can be taken by individual business
units or functions operating within silos or without a
broader cross functional or enterprise perspective. In such
cases, it may become apparent that from an integrated
organizational view, it may be better to leverage certain
assets or resources across various business units rather
than outsourcing some functions or processes. IT testing
is one example of where this can occur. A particular
business unit may have outsourced its testing function
as it did not have the scale economies to house such a
function internally, but when combined with the testing
requirements of other business units the organization may
choose to build a Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) to
cater to such needs across all units.
In The Survey, 79% of respondents indicated that they
were either satisfied or very satisfied with their insourcing
program. In fact, none of The Survey respondents felt that
the insourcing program was dissatisfactory.
Figure 2: Insourcing satisfaction post deal termination
Satisfaction with insourcing
21 %
There could be many reasons for the overwhelming
satisfaction with insourcing. We surmise that given
the organizational and financial costs of insourcing,
an outsourcing deal may likely be in a state of serious
disrepair to even contemplate insourcing. As such, The
Survey respondents who insourced a deal after early
termination for cause or convenience may have been
pre-disposed to see the outcome of the insourcing as
From Bangalore to Boston — The trend of bringing IT back in-house
Challenges of moving to
an insourced model
Although given the right situation the call to insource can
be very compelling, there can also be several substantial
challenges, including:
Sub-optimal knowledge transfer: In many outsourcing
contracts, clients include a provision that allows them to
hire the in-scope staff from the outsourcer particularly
in the event that the outsourcing contract has been
terminated for cause. Such a provision can greatly ease the
reverse transition of the work back in-house. However, in
the absence of such a provision, it may be difficult for the
client organization to ramp up the required staff in order to
be able to bring the work back in-house. It is this challenge
that often precludes any insourcing movement, even if
there are other compelling motives to do so.
The need to build internal capabilities: Particularly in
cases where work has been outsourced for a significant
period of time, the client organization no longer retains
the capability to manage that work internally. Such
capability includes service delivery management, tools &
methodologies and technology. While knowledge transfer
can be enabled through the transfer of in-scope staff,
developing other capabilities, such as delivery management
and technology can be a significant challenge.
Potential cost increase: It was discussed earlier that in
some cases, projected economic gains from an outsourcing
program may not be realized. However, in most cases
outsourcing results in some level of cost efficiency. Thus,
bringing work back in-house may result in a cost increase,
at least in the initial years, as the client organization should
make investments to make itself capable of managing the
Figure 3 outlines more information on whether a
particular situation calls for insourcing or re-tendering.
However, it is important to note that the first step of
determining whether your outsourcing arrangement
should be insourced or re-tendered is a thorough business
case that takes into account the full set of costs associated
with the change.
Figure 3: Considerations for Insourcing vs. Re-tendering
Strategic nature
of the outsourced
Contract terms
Supplier leverage
Business case
• Outsourced work is a strategic differentiator • Outsourced work is a commodity that is not
for client
providing a strategic advantage
• Vendor is causing a direct reputational risk
to client
Have ability to solicit vendor employees
Low termination fees
Robust transition support clause
Ability to reduce the services gradually as
work transitions
• Favorable intellectual property (IP) clause
• Ability to influence vendor behavior during
insourcing transition
• Transactional relationship; minimal leverage
• Resources exist or can be quickly procured
to assume insourced functions
• Long resource procurement time and/or
high specialty resources needed
• Robust current state documentation,
processes, procedures, job aids, and metrics
• Long resource procurement time and/or
high specialty resources needed
• Physical infrastructure for insourced
functions exists or can be built quickly and
cost effectively
• Supplier infrastructure footprint or cost
structure hard to duplicate
• Given positions for other considerations,
ROI in relation to re-tendering
• Given positions for other considerations,
ROI in relation to insourcing
High termination fees
Inability to reduce costs during transition
IP clause makes knowledge transfer difficult
Minimal contractual transition support
From Bangalore to Boston — The trend of bringing IT back in-house
Selecting the right insourced
organizational model
Once a decision has been made to insource an outsourced
function, the right organizational model needs to be
chosen to help ensure that the function can be successfully
integrated back into the core business.
Figure 4 illustrates that the choice of the right model
can depend largely on the driver behind the insourcing
movement, as well as specific organizational characteristics
and limitations.
Figure 4: Insourced organizational models
• Retention of talent
• Greater competitive
• Greater control over
key processes
• Lower cost efficiency
Center of
• Each process is delivered by a “best in
class” internal organization
• Differ from Service Centers in that COEs
tend to involve more knowledge-based
• Greater control over
key processes
• High cost efficiency
• Better management of
regulatory compliance
• Lower cost efficiency
(although superior to
Service Center
• Stand-alone (physically or
organizationally) center that is
developed, measured and governed to
execute selected processes.
• Service centers are generally used for
transactional processes rather than
knowledge-based processes
• Captives are wholly owned Service
Centers established in low-cost,
offshore locations (typically outside of
North America) with the intention of
combining the performance, cost, labor
pool benefits of offshore outsourcing
while retaining operational control
• Highest level of cost
• High degree of
• Data and IP protection
• Limited control on
regulatory compliance
• Requires more
coordination within
the organization
Though insourcing is a small trend as compared to
the global outsourcing juggernaut, given the maturity
of the outsourcing industry we are seeing more and
more clients wrestling with the question of whether an
outsourcing deal that is not meeting expectations should
be re-tendered or insourced.
Most clients still prefer to fix broken deals by either
renegotiating with the incumbent provider or re-tendering
the work. However, insourcing is also being considered a
viable option when the business case and business drivers
make sense.
Dane Anderson
John Tweardy
Marc Mancher
Deloitte Consulting LLP
+1 312 486 5389
[email protected]
Deloitte Consulting LLP
+1 412 402 5418
[email protected]
Deloitte Consulting LLP
+1 860 488 5071
[email protected]
Peter Lowes
Joe Montrosse
Subodh Chitre
Deloitte Consulting LLP
+1 212 618 4380
[email protected]
Senior Manager
Deloitte Consulting LLP
+1 248 396 6559
[email protected]
Deloitte Consulting LLP
+1 972 400 8715
[email protected]
From Bangalore to Boston — The trend of bringing IT back in-house
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