Akerson: In-house IT is crucial
This summer, General Motors outlined plans for a sweeping transformation of its information technology system, one that could add as many as 10,000 IT workers to the company's rolls.
The move is long overdue, said CEO Dan Akerson, who said IT should be as core to the automaker as engineering and design.
By outsourcing about 90 percent of its IT infrastructure for the last two decades, GM needlessly relinquished some of its "intellectual horsepower" and left itself more vulnerable to system failures, Akerson said.
He points to the 23 data centers GM now owns or leases, which now largely are operated by outside providers, who sometimes use those centers for other companies' IT needs, too. The plan is to consolidate those to just two large self-run centers so GM has better control of its data.
Under the current setup, "Let's say somebody like XYZ Corp. corrupts the core of the mainframe and it goes down," Akerson said. Because the 23 current centers don't backstop each other, "Well, I go down with them. That affects my manufacturing around the globe."
"So, is IT critical?" Akerson said. "It's a core competency that every company I think has to have, especially one like this."
You can reach Mike Colias at firstname.lastname@example.org.