More and more companies are looking for ways to streamline their information technology departments in reaction to the lagging economy.
John Hancock Financial Services, Boston, has used a number of tactics over the last six to nine months intended to curb the impact of the economic downturn, says Alpa Patel, second vice president, information technology services.
Hancock has developed an extension of its technology information area, called a remote application development facility, in Florida, Patel says.
What Your Peers Are Reading
“We found that with the Boston marketplace, we were having a tough time recruiting and maintaining information technology professionals, so we went down to Florida,” she says. “Everything is less expensive there, the facility is cheaper and weve reduced our reliance on our people in Boston.”
Early in the year, Hancock outsourced maintenance of some of its mainframe applications to India, Patel says.
This move has allowed Hancock to relieve Boston employees of work that is critical to the company, but not necessarily their first choice in terms of responsibilities, and have it done by people working for Hancock in India, Patel says.
This means that the Boston employees who have expertise in life insurance, for example, can focus on that, rather than maintenance of mainframe applications, Patel says. “Now these folks can work on (their area of expertise) and weve been able to drop contractors as well.”
Patel emphasizes that in the efforts to streamline information technology operations, nothing has been taken away from Hancocks Boston employees.
“These are applications that are 15 to 20 years old, so theyre pretty low in value in terms of employees in Boston wanting to do this work,” she says.