British Airways Revives Debate on IT Outsourcing

Did Third-Party Tech Team Cause Carrier’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Bad Weekend?

At 9:30 AM local time on Saturday morning, what has been variously described by British Airways as a “power surge” and a “power supply issue” (they’re not the same) triggered a chain of events that effectively grounded the world’s eighth largest airline.

CEO Alex Cruz spent more of the weekend apologizing than explaining, but did offer this limited version of events: “There was a power surge and there was a back up system, which did not work at that particular point in time. It was restored after a few hours in terms of some hardware changes….” He added, “We will make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Union officials who opposed the airline’s decision to shift some IT jobs to Tata Consultancy Services, were quick to link the outages to outsourcing. “This could have all been avoided,” a union spokesman said, because “in 2016 BA made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India.”

So which was it?

It’s IT . . . Stuff happens.Network_Down_Thinkstock

Run away from any IT provider who promises you a glitch-free environment or incident-free existence. Today’s technology landscape is made up of numerous hard-to-quantify interfaces among a complex network of vendors and providers. That list would include hardware manufacturers (as well as the makers of their internal components), application vendors, data center hosts, telecommunications carriers, network management companies, cloud platform providers, even electrical utilities. Frequently, when one link in that long chain fails, users (or consumers) suffer.

That’s why IT thought leaders advocate a near-approach to full redundancy, relying on high-availability network designs and well-tested failover sequences.

But these solutions cost money (go figure), and corporate management often delays investment, thus delaying implementation, thus remaining vulnerable to a single hiccup. (Mr. Cruz, meet the electrical system. It surges sometimes.)

The key is anticipating the inevitable surges and glitches by building redundancy and failover into your environment ahead of time. We can help you do that.

How you approach IT outsourcing really matters.

Effective IT management is not a commodity. If you base your outsourcing decision on price, you will be hurt.


– Does your provider document its approach to assuring business continuity and system failover?

– Do they regularly test the restoral of your critical systems?

– Have they attained independent certification of their approach to maintaining the security and integrity of your critical data?

– Are they flexible enough to allow for strategic outsourcing — that is, outsourcing only highly specialized portions of your IT operation, such as disaster recovery, security, or management of your server farm?

It’s true: IT outsourcing done right saves you money.

But IT outsourcing done cheap costs you money.

SLPowers was a pioneer in outsourced IT, and we have the industry awards to prove it. Our Guaranteed Networks® management program delivers a suite of specialized IT services, customized to your company’s specific size and needs.

Contact us, and we’ll explain how outsourcing is supposed to work.

Categories: Current News and Events, Data Security, Internet Security, Managed Security, SLPowers

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