Best Buy Reverses Course on Outsourcing
Best Buy, the company known for employing geeks to help shoppers with their technology issues, is looking to hire some techies to help it with its own IT challenges.
According to a Star Tribune article, the consumer electronics chain, which has outsourced much of its IT needs going back to 2004, is now looking to bring that work back in-house.
Jody Davids, Best Buy’s chief information officer, told the paper, "We need to develop a strategy of what we’re going to build. We like to take control of our destiny."
Dale Nitschke, former president of Target.com and current general partner at Ovative/group, said Best Buy is staffing up because, like other retailers, it is looking to better manage all the data being created by digitally-connected consumers.
"Typically, retailers have been organized around stores and merchandise," Mr. Nitschke told the Star Tribune. "The digital ecosystems that are now emerging have allowed retailers to focus on their most important asset: their customer base."
Whether to outsource or not has been a question retailers have been dealing with for years. A RetailWire poll in 2008 found respondents evenly divided on the issue, with 26 percent answering "yes" and the same number "no" to whether outsourcing gave companies a competitive advantage. The remaining said results were mixed.
One challenge Best Buy will face is the recruiting of talent. As the Star Tribune article pointed out, it is not the only large retailer bringing more IT under its roof.
- Best Buy seeks geeks – Star Tribune
- Outsourcing Is In – RetailWire
Discussion Questions: Has the increase in connected consumers made it more important for retailers to manage IT internally? Will the competition for talent nullify cost savings for retailers, one of the primary reasons they chose to outsource in the first place?Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.