More Aussie IT jobs go the way of outsourcing

IT services at Woodside Energy will increasingly be outsourced as the Perth-based resources giant downsizes its internal IT staff over the next two years.

Woodside last week announced more details on its Profitability Enhancement Program, which aims to reduce operating costs by $250 million between 2003 to 2005, for $60 million in savings. Woodside made a loss of $92 million in 2002. About 300 jobs will go over the next two years as a result of the program, according to a Woodside statement.

Director of shared services at Woodside, Andrew Maiden, said he preferred not to say how many of Woodside’s 160 IT staff would lose their jobs.

However, a report in The Australian that claimed Woodside’s IT operations would suffer more than other departments was "not true", he said.

The company had already seen outsourcing IT projects as “a way of going forward” before the Profitability Enhancement Program was announced, Maiden said.

“We have the opportunities to package services and put them out as outsourcing opportunities,” Maiden said.

“There are many areas possible where benefits can be gained from outsourcing.

“Areas like skills development, technology, and access to technology, and costs of scale are all benefits [from outsourcing],” he said.

Woodside currently has a contract with Logica for application development and maintenance. Maiden said the company will probably sign new outsourcing partners in the future as it determines other activities to be outsourced.

The moves to outsource and the Profitability Enhancement Program would not put any of Woodside IT’s priorities on hold, nor hinder its capability, Maiden said.

He also said Woodside IT staff knew the outsourcing packages being considered, and have, or will be told at an appropriate time, if their position will be impacted.

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