Outspoken Queensland IT executive Bruce Mills has started his own industry association in an attempt to hold governments more accountable for their IT decisions.
Mills resigned from the Queensland Government's ICT Workgroup in late August, accusing the body of being a “Minister’s mouthpiece”.
He has registered ‘Outsourcing Council Asia Pacific’ as a limited by guarantee not-for-profit company.
The organisation will advocate outsourcing and shared services and lobby on behalf of providers, without limiting itself to the larger players in the market, Mills said today.
Large outsourcers have government relations staff, he noted, but smaller local suppliers tend not to.
“The outsourcing landscape is changing dramatically – even micro-businesses outsource services today,” Mills said. “Smaller providers have had no representation until now.”
Mills has previously accused Australia’s peak ICT industry bodies of having vested interests that prevent them from criticising the largest consumers of technology.
He said the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) was too concerned with large fee paying members such as IBM and Microsoft to counter the big issues.
The press was complicit in the problem, he said.
Mills felt that more should have been said, for example, about the failure of several shared services implementations at the West Australian and Queensland Governments.
“There are outsourcing projects failing all over the place,” he said. “They inevitably fall into the hands of the larger scale outsourcers who say ‘pass it to us, she’ll be right mate’, but have no industry-wide standards around it.
“Governments represent the most powerful buyers in the industry. There are people within these [industry] organisations that are there for the right reasons, but many that are only there for their own business benefit – they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them.”
The AIIA is one of eight Queensland IT bodies that have publicly defended their motives to counter Mills' protests.
One of the Outsourcing Council's first projects will be the commissioning of an outsourcing methodology for members to access.
Mills said he did not feel the council would be a conflict of interest with his own IT consulting business, 3W Consulting.
“I have always been a vocal advocate for the industry, often to the detriment of my own business,” he said.
He also said members of the organisation could rely on him to be politically neutral and even-handed, despite his railings against the current Queensland Government.