Ministry favours application outsourcing

With budget shortfalls and e-government services to initiate and maintain, application outsourcing is something that agencies and departments should examine, according to a ministry CIO.

“You have to look for cost efficiencies where you can,” said John Schinbein, the CIO for B.C.’s Ministry of Health Services. “Outsourcing is one way of potentially stabilizing your costs and potentially reducing them.”

Schinbein is definitely an authority on application outsourcing. In fact, he spoke on the topic from his ministry’s point-of-view in November at the CIO Summit in Toronto.

In 1998, the B.C. health services ministry was struggling to stay on top of technology advances, maintain online initiatives and contain costs. As a result, the ministry turned to IBM’s Application Management Services professionals to provide facilities management, application management and e-business development and support. Since then, the relationship has grown and IBM is responsible for most of the ministry’s application development, management and maintenance.

Schinbein says the move to application outsourcing has been a successful one for the ministry.

“We certainly have been able to contain our costs and in our most recent negotiation, we were actually able to reduce costs.”