M&S outsources tech team to Tata in cost-cutting drive

M&S apes Waitrose for loyalty roll out newMarks & Spencer is to outsource its technology department – with about 250 staff transferring tech giant Tata Consultancy Services – in a move which it claims will enable it to become a digital-first business and deliver an improvement in customer experience.
The decision to create what the retailer describes as a “more agile, faster and commercial technology function that will work with the business to deliver growth” follows an extensive review of M&S’s technology capabilities.
Under the plans, core supplier services will transfer directly to Tata and the day-to-day relationship and project management of specialist suppliers will also move under the control of the tech giant.
The so-called “Technology Transformation Programme” will deliver annual efficiencies of about £30m by 2021/22 and drive clearer accountabilities and a more customer centric approach to technology services, M&S claims, adding that there is a one-off cost to implement of about £25m.
M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said: “We are committed to transforming M&S for our colleagues, customers and shareholders by delivering digital-first retailing across our stores and offices. Technology plays a huge role in this transformation – and having the right partners and model will enable us to be more agile, flexible and responsive. Through our Technology Transformation Programme our business will be faster, simpler and more focused on achieving a seamless customer experience.”
As a result of the new move, about 250 existing M&S technology roles will transfer under TUPE to become Tata roles. Individual conversations will take place with around 30 individuals whose functions will be carried out differently in the future.
M&S will retain a smaller, more technical and commercially focused in-house technology team that will lead and drive technology to support the business.

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