Within an organisation, people are often unaware of where IT costs originate. Shadow IT in particular is a common problem. Shadow IT are costs that are processed with an incorrect accounting entry. eV-ict helps to shine a light on these incorrect entries and provides factual insight into all ICT costs by amassing data from three different domains:
- Finance: these are the costs of all IT resources and the IT costs of all IT employees involved.
- Technology: the technology domain provides information on all applications and licences in use, including the organisation’s IT infrastructure and management.
- Organisation: the organisation department provides data relating to users and use, faults and charge-ons.
Experience shows that information from technical and financial sources overlaps the most—see the figure above.
Some examples of reports that can be generated with the aid of the eV-ict data model:
Example report 1:
Ideally, the overlap between the three domains within an organisation will be 100 per cent. In that case, the administration will cover exactly what is used, the infrastructure for each software tool will be traceable and there will be no requests for support for applications whose location within the infrastructure is unknown. In many organisations, however, these domains are out of balance. The second figure shows what we often see—where what is actually taking place within an organisation is inconsistent with the costs that the organisation incurs. This can include situations in which applications are purchased but not paid for or in which applications are purchased but not used. The eV-ict data model categorises, links, enriches and processes the data provided and provides insight into the relationship between the different domains.
The data model also depicts the distribution of costs over various components as percentages. If preferred, the total costs of the workplace can be examined in more detail to gain insight into where exactly these costs originate. The origin of these costs can be traced back to the source data. We refer to this as ‘total transparency’, and eV-ict considers that extremely important.
Example report 2: Reporting of costs by service or costs by user
The ‘costs by service’ or ‘costs by user’ reports enable comparisons between different departments or businesses and organisations. To identify savings, it is important to look for components, licences and services that are being paid for but not used. The eV-ict data model provides these insights and highlights savings.
A second example is to look for where items are not being paid for but are being used. This might seem like a saving, but will ultimately lead to costs in the form of subsequent fees or costs not included in the budget in advance. We refer to this form of analysis as ‘licence compliance’.
Example report 3: Analysis of servers by category.
The eV-ict data model also gives you insight into the number of servers per category as well as the total server costs for each category. These example analyses suggest that organisation X has a large number of small servers. This may be cause for further investigation to examine whether or not consideration can be given here.
The figure on the left shows the total server costs by category. Could there be alternatives to expensive servers?
Some examples that have been proven in practice:
Within local authorities, employees frequently change role and department and each role and department has its own dedicated authorisations. When an employee changes role, the employee is often granted more authorisations, but none are revoked. Too many people had access to systems containing privacy-sensitive information. Once we had noticed this, the situation was rectified immediately in order to ensure compliance.
IT costs reduction
One of our clients has several divisions. An IT service provider visited each division to sell its services separately. Analysis through the data model also revealed that this has happened and, as a consequence, the client was able to negotiate a single price agreement with the IT service provider, covering all divisions. This resulted in an annual saving of at least 300,000 Euros. In addition, eV-ict was also able to highlight a minimum fifteen per cent saving on the number of licences, thus enabling better use of the IT budget.
Validation of a business case
It remains unclear what the actual scope and impact of major IT change or renewal projects are. The IT cost-analysis infrastructure at eV-ict can help to provide a comprehensive overview, offering complete insight into whether or not a business case can be validated.