BCS ELITE Group lunch: Outsourcing

Wednesday 10 November 2004

Coffee and Registration 12:00-12:30
Presentations & Q&A 12:30-13:45
Warm buffet and drinks 13:45-14:30

The National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HE


This event focused on Outsourcing, a topic of great interest to Elite members, and we invited two excellent speakers with particular insights into this area.

Outsourcing can be successful if you match up the capabilities of the customer with those of the supplier during the sourcing process. Drawing on the successful outsourcing of IT at Virgin Trains, Jeremy Acklam, IT Director at Virgin Trains, showed how this principle guided the course of the outsource at Virgin. He examined the different scenarios that might be faced whilst pursuing an outsource, and presented some ‘lessons learned’ and ‘do’s and don’ts’ resulting from this experience.

A development of particular interest recently has been the growth of Offshore Outsourcing. Elizabeth Sparrow, Chair of the new BCS Working Party on Offshoring, and author of a definitive forthcoming book on the subject, outlined the conclusions she has reached after an in-depth study of experiences in this field, and included some guidelines on best practice that are now starting to emerge.


Jeremy Acklam has 15 years experience of creating Information Management and Technology solutions within Transport built on a previous career in Engineering.

Jeremy is responsible for IS strategy and 24/365 IS & IT delivery for the franchises at Virgin Rail and was involved in successfully delivering three ‘firsts’ for rail – on board reservations on Virgin’s new trains, ticket–on-departure and thetrainline.com.

Jeremy is Deputy Chairman and a Director of the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organization and in 2002 wrote and presented the Downing Street Lecture on Transport Information and Smartcards for the PM, politicians and transport experts. One of the recent projects he led was awarded the 2004 Railway Forum “Innovation in IT” Award and the 2004 National Rail Award for “Outstanding Teamwork”.

View the Outsourcing for commercial advantage presentation (PDF)

Whilst IT Director at the Home Office, Elizabeth Sparrow’s activities included managing third-party suppliers, and developing and managing the delivery of the Home Office’s desktop IS / IT infrastructure and communications services. Earlier in her career, she worked at the Crown Prosecution Service, where she coordinated the introduction of quality standards and harmonized working practices throughout the organization, and at the British Library, where she held posts including Head on Management Information Office.

Elizabeth has a Masters in Information Studies from the University of Sheffield, and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Southampton. She now works as an author and consultant, where her clients have included One 2 One and NatWest Bank Card Services.

View the Offshoring - The IT leaders' perspective presentation (PDF)