Northeast Utilities has revealed its plans to outsource 200 information technology jobs to Indian firms. The news comes after weeks of pressure on the company. Northeast Utilities employees had heard rumors that some jobs might be outsourced as the giant company reorganizes in the wake of its merger with Massachusetts-based NStar.
Until now, Northeast Utilities had refused to confirm details of its plan even under heavy criticism from Connecticut state officials and lawmakers. Now it’s announced 200, or about half, of its IT jobs will be outsourced to two Indian providers, Infosys and Tata Consulting.
The IT department’s staff is spread across three New England states, with about 280 in Connecticut, and NU hasn’t said which employees will be affected. Not all of the jobs will relocate. The two outsourcing firms will move about half the work overseas, but the remaining employees will be offered jobs by the outsourcing firm, and continue to work in New England.
NU spokesperson Tricia Modifica said, “NU needs an IT organization that can rapidly adapt to evolving business conditions and changes in the marketplace, one that can implement new technologies to meet emerging customer expectations and business requirements.” Critics of NU had raised concerns about the utility company’s readiness in storm situations or other outages if it’s relying on outsourced staff. There are also worries about the vulnerability of its systems to hackers.
Modifica says those concerns have been addressed. “NU will continue to have security controls and processes in place," she said, "and will maintain all management and oversight of them.”
The Attorney General’s office, which has been monitoring NU’s merger process, renewed its call for Connecticut utility regulators to fully review the potential effects of the outsourcing.