SGN pens IT service desk outsourcing deal

SGN has swapped an IT managed service from Fujitsu with a five-year agreement with CGI as part of its plans to introduce features such as artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up service desk response times.

The UK gas distributor worked with Japanese supplier Fujitsu over the past five years, but opted for CGI after a tender.

CGI will provide a managed IT service, including the provision of a 24/7 service desk and device management to SGN’s 5000 field engineers and office employees.

This is part of its service transformation programme that, according to SGN’s head of IT operations Andy Merefield, will develop and expand existing core services, introduce new technologies to “proactively manage service restoration”, and drive down the time it takes to restore systems following critical incidents. Enhanced monitoring will be introduced to predict when challenges may arise ahead of time to prevent downtime.

It will also help to increase the productivity of employees through the automation and self-service of the IT services desk, which align with the company’s hybrid-working policy.

As part of the contract, CGI will also manage SGN’s ServiceNow ITSM tooling. “[This will] ensure our service catalogue and workflows are optimised to deliver fast, cost-effective and reliable services as we manage complex change programmes focused on cyber and digital delivery programmes,” said Merefield.

Supplying gas to customers in Scotland and the South-East of England, SGN has an internal IT team of around 120 workers. It predominantly uses outsourced IT services with a range of partners. These includes application and infrastructure support services, managed network services, cloud hosting and service management.  CGI already provides application development and test services to SGN.

“We regularly review our outsourcing strategy alongside our regulated requirements to ensure that we provide industry leading services, that are of high quality and offer best value to our business,” Merefield told Computer Weekly.

Canada’s CGI, which has 6,000 staff in the UK, acquired Anglo-Dutch Logica for £1.7bn in 2012.

According to the latest figures from technology consultancy ISG for UK IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services contracts, spending by organisations in the first three months of this year was down as the value of cloud services contracts fell.

It found that in the UK, the biggest spending country in the EMEA region, organisations spent $1.2bn on IT and BPO services in the first quarter of 2023. This was 2% lower than the same quarter last year and a massive 36% down on the final quarter of 2022. ISG records all deals worth over $5m to calculate the total contract value for a period.

Recent research of 750 UK organisations carried out by PA Consulting and Whitelane Research found that demand for outsourced IT services is currently being driven by the need for IT talent, revealing it to be a key reason organisations across different sectors outsource IT. It also revealed that over half (52%) of organisations cited simplifying and consolidating IT as a driver behind their IT outsourcing decisions.

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