GM adding 500 jobs at first in-house tech center

DETROIT Fri Sep 7, 2012 12:03pm EDT

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) plans to add up to 500 jobs at a new information technology center in Austin, Texas, marking the first step in the automaker's goal to bring the bulk of its IT work in-house over the next three years.

GM plans to hire software developers, database experts and others in Austin, the first of potentially four centers in the United States that GM plans to announce over the next year.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, once a pioneer in outsourcing, said on Friday that bringing IT work in-house will make the company more efficient and productive.

"We're really trying to drive the innovation and development capability of IT inside GM," GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott said. The changes will "support our business and the overall transformation that's happening within GM as a company."

The new center is the start of Mott's IT strategy, which he first outlined to GM's 1,500 IT employees in June. GM outsources about 90 percent of its IT work, with 10 percent done in-house.

Mott hopes to reverse the percentages within three years. He also plans to hire more people to focus on IT development and innovation.

"I would not see it as overhead at all," Mott told reporters during a conference call. "In fact I would go the other way and see this as an enabler of what you've heard from our executive team."

GM is in "ongoing dialogues" with its current IT suppliers, Mott said, declining to comment further.

Some elements of the IT overhaul, which is still being finalized, will take about five years to implement. GM aims to open four IT centers in all, but the figure has "not been totally decided," Mott said. GM is now exploring other sites.

(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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