8,000 computer programmers at General Motors?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

They make it sound like they need 8,000 programmers to run a website. Even Google doesn’t have that many engineers. I sure hope that the reporter got the story wrong. Otherwise this sounds like waste on a staggering scale.

Two years ago, Chief Information Officer Randy Mott ended GM’s $3 billion a year outsourcing deal with Hewlett-Packard Co. , replacing it and others with about 8,000 GM software engineers, up from 1,400 previously. “Because we brought the [information technology] work back in-house, we can take the lid off of what is possible,” Mr. Mott said in an interview.

GM is among companies ranging from General Electric Co. to Tesla Motors Inc. that are building custom software for products and internal use. They believe it is the best way to differentiate themselves and respond as rapidly as possible to customer preferences.

The new focus on custom, internally-built software poses a potential challenge to technology outsourcing companies such as H-P and Dell Inc., as well as providers of off-the-shelf business software, such as Microsoft Corp. , Oracle Corp. and SAP SE . While they still play a role even in custom projects such as Shop-Click-Drive, the role may be smaller than it otherwise might have been.