Shell switch highlights confusion over IT role

Shell's decision to overhaul its global IT subsidiary has highlighted continued confusion over the role of IT departments within...

Shell's decision to overhaul its global IT subsidiary has highlighted continued confusion over the role of IT departments within firms, an industry expert claimed this week.

"[Shell's restructuring] is part of a perennial IT re-organisational cycle which seems to be every three to five years," said Colin Beveridge, interim IT director, who has worked for firms including Powergen and clearing house Bacs.

Last week Computer Weekly revealed that the oil giant is poised to bring its multi-billion-dollar IT subsidiary, Shell Services International back in-house.

The new IT unit will be run on a cost recovery basis, and will not service external clients.

Shell's new IT structure - due to be announced by the middle of this year - has fuelled the debate over the merits of spinning off IT departments as profit-making operations.

The oil giant's U-turn comes as international futures exchange Liffe separates its IT division as a technology company.

But IT directors have argued that Shell's overhaul only illustrates the uncertainty facing technology staff as companies change their minds over the ideal structure for IT departments.

"There is so much reorganisation generally within IT that no one has any real feel for what an IT department should look like," said Beveridge.

Shell's IT staff and managers should also brace themselves for a period of uncertainty during the reorganisation, Beveridge added.

"There are opportunities for fragmentation of business communications and there will be a period of uncertainty while people establish new roles. There could be power plays if you have several people going for one job," he added.

Nick Huber
nick.huber@rbi.co.uk

Read more on Data centre hardware

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close