DuPont in pounds 2bn outsourcing deal

DuPont, the global chemicals and energy company, plans to outsource its information technology operations to Computer Sciences Corporation and Andersen Consulting in what is believed to be the biggest deal of its kind, worth $4bn (pounds 2.4bn) over 10 years.

Under the arrangement, 2,600 of the Delaware-based company's staff will be transferred to CSC, with another 500 going to Andersen. About 1,100 information systems employees, including a management team that will carry out such activities as the development and maintenance of corporate IT standards, will remain with DuPont.

Cinda A Hallman, vice-president of DuPont Systems and chief information officer, said the move would enable the company "to work together with the `best of the best' in the IT industry" - strengthening and building on their expertise to meet the needs of the environment in which it competes. DuPont expects the alliance will improve the range and speed of its services to customers as well as improve cost-effectiveness through "improved business processes, streamlined systems and increased productivity".

Although the deal is understood to be the first of its kind in the chemical industry, it follows similar arrangements in other sectors and in the public sector. Andersen, CSC and EDS, another US organisation founded by former presidential hopeful Ross Perot and until recently part of General Motors, are the key players. Earlier this year, for instance, CSC and Andersen linked with other organisations to provide IT services to the investment bank JP Morgan, while EDS has agreed a similar arrangement with the Inland Revenue.

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