Lessons from RBS: business process outsourcing to blame, not IT


So Stephen Hester blames it all on an IT software upgrade that went belly up.

It’s easy to blame IT. After all, it’s a faceless entity and all that technobabble can confuse and confound the public and set the hares racing with the newspapers and news services (“Banks systems need upgrading”….please, whether written in COBOL or Java they are complex beasts, don’t make light something you clearly don’t understand BBC !)

However, peer a little deeper into the rabbit hole and it all stems from management and processes, not IT. Poorly designed outsource processes, too many hand-offs, lack of quality and control, little visibility of responsibility, the list could go on but you know it yourselves.

It’s not IT that fail.

  • It’s the person who writes the requirements.
  • It’s the person who translates them into a functional design.
  • It’s the person who tests the new code.
  • It’s the person who approves it into production
  • And it’s the process that binds them all together
People. Process. Technology. More or less in that order.

That’s why BPM is crucial. It exposes those holes with glaring clarity, shocks you with the facts. Forces you to rethink how you approach your business.

And for RBS and Stephen, that rethink couldn’t come quick enough now.


5 responses to “Lessons from RBS: business process outsourcing to blame, not IT

  1. Can I suggest

    Projects (business led with IT components for sure)

    The last one is important and what good leadership from the right people can deliver. By the way, I have been in the middle of this stuff, so I am not commenting without real experience.

  2. It’s sometimes easier to write things off as an “IT problem” because actually uncovering the real issues can be costly and time consuming. But until you identify the real problems you’re just putting a band-aid on the situation. You might need a hammer to fix things, but you’re sticking with a band-aid since it’s simpler.

  3. Pingback: BPM Quotes of the week « Adam Deane·

  4. Many foreign companies outsources services to other countries in order to reduce the operational costs.they inturn outsources these services to some other company.In this process, Outsourced projects are transferred into many hands.By which quality of the service may get declined.

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