Conway's Law and IT outsourcing
Any number of reasons are given, including financial advantages, for outsourcing. The speciousness of those reasons have fueled incredulous comment here and elsewhere for as long as outsourcing has been a subject.
IT outsourcing, simply put, is getting rid of IT, and replacing IT with a contract.
Why would management want to be rid of IT?
Conway's Law can be stated as "IT's products reflect the organizational structure that produced them.". That structure must include the larger organization in which the IT function is embedded.
As food for thought, I offer that IT's products, distorted by organizational dysfunction, as well as IT's attempts to overcome the dysfunction, exist as a continuous source of reflected shame and frustration of fantasy fulfillment for management. Should this shame grow too discomforting, getting rid of the shaming object is the obvious response.
Replacing IT with a contract, "running IT like a business", removes IT as an obstacle to expression of dysfunction, which could be an explanation for why nutty contract terms appeal to management seeking outsourcing. The financial rationalizations provide cover, permitting management to avoid mentioning or even being conscious of the shame driving and the hostile nature of the act of outsourcing.
While it seems possible that an IT organization could be beyond redemption, and hence that outsourcing might be the lesser of evils, that state will have been reached within the larger organization, and the above still applies.
Seems as though the only sensible reasons for outsourcing have to do with the inurement of the officers of the involved companies, the consequences of which Mr. Miller has noted above.
My pop psychology concoction is challenged by the DP/HP outcome, assuming that outcome isn't simply a sign of a continuation of negotiations, as hinted at in other comments.
Naturally, I won't give up on my creation without a struggle, so I'll leave off with some smoke-screen questions. :-)
What was the nature of the 'reorganization'? Was it limited to IT? Was IT 'punished' with headcount reduction, which reduced the financial cover, along with providing an outlet for hostility? Why were the numbers re-checked after the relationship was substantially in place? Political intrigue?
Sigh. If we only knew. Perhaps some intrepid IT reporters will dig further.