Starting in late April, Boeing will outsource significant IT work to Dell — including support of cloud services, databases, IT security and end users — in a move that eliminates some 600 jobs.
In an internal message to employees sent Thursday, Susan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer and senior vice president for IT and data analytics, said the approximately 600 jobs being outsourced represent about 10% of Boeing’s IT staff.
Affected employees, who are mostly nonunion, must either find different work within Boeing, apply to work for Dell, or be laid off, Doniz stated.
“This is a change we would have made even without a global pandemic,” Doniz wrote, adding that the deep impact of COVID-19 on the aerospace industry “certainly quickened our pace.”
Boeing declined Wednesday to provide a breakdown of the location of the affected jobs by state. However, it’s likely the biggest hits will come at its major office facilities in the Puget Sound region, St. Louis and Charleston, South Carolina.
A Boeing itemization of the work that will go to Dell lists hosting of servers, data center services and cloud computing; databases and storage; software updates and configuration; IT system security against malware and hack attacks; and end user support.
Doniz’s memo to employees said the move “will help increase our efficiency and speed, simplify operations and advance our digital transformation.”
Boeing has outsourced work extensively in the past to save costs. Now, in the throes of an unprecedented downturn, the company is shrinking significantly both in numbers of employees and in office space.
Many of Boeing’s office staff have been working from home since last March, and company leaders have said they are assessing how some might continue to do so even after a recovery as they seek to reduce factory and office space by more than 5 million square feet over the next few years.
Suggesting a move toward IT systems hosting more data remotely, Doniz said Boeing will “accelerate adoption of our hybrid cloud solution” — which means using a combination of internal servers and external “cloud” servers to store files, data and applications.
Boeing shed 20,000 jobs companywide in 2020 and has said it needs to cut 11,000 more this year.
That will make it harder for IT employees losing their current jobs to find new work within the company.