Wednesday, 6 December 2006

To charge or not to charge?

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Barry Corless who, if you hadn't heard, was recently appointed as the Chief Examiner for APMG's ITIL v2 examination board when they take over at the start of January (see here for more). I didn't actually click that it was him until later on so failed to congratulate him on the appointment, so here you go Barry: "Congratulations!".

Anyhow, today I attended the itSMF seminar day on 'Financial Management - The Chamber of Secrets'. I have an interest (partly from personal background but also from some financial related work I've had to do in the past 2 years) in how you go about recharging services as an internal within a non-profit making organisation and some of the presentations did clarify a few things for me.

In particular I found it interesting that one organisation introduced FMITS (Financial Management for IT Services) as part of an organisational wide change by creating what they called an 'internal market'. They went as far as devolving the financial accountants functions INTO the business units themselves. So ICT had a partially dedicated financial support resource to help them.

Another presentation reiterated how important it is that a qualified accountant be involved in the process from the start. What I'm wondering in my case is could we justify (in a year or two) the creation of a post of an IT Financial Manager. Given the nature of working in partnership with other councils I personally think it's a must to ensure accountability and transparency for audit. Time will tell...

There was quite a lot said about the 'why', the benefits, and some excellent case studies highlighting not just what works well, but what doesn't. The 'how' was really only covered thoroughly by a couple of the speakers and they provided some really useful techniques and templates.

It was also very clear that implementing FMITS is far easier if you already have service level management in place (service catalogue as a bare minimum), and reasonably mature incident, problem, change, and configuration management processes. This much I'd expected. What I hadn't really appreciated was just how much of an input Capacity Management has into FMITS, even if it's not very mature and just a few key metrics. If I'd been in any doubt Mr McMenemy certainly drove that point home!

At some point in the future I'll type up all my notes and share them with you all. Until then, keep an eye on the itSMF UK website as I'm sure they'll be uploading the presentation slides there shortly.

I had been hoping that it would also cover how to financially show the ROI of projects that deliver efficiency savings, but this wasn't to be. If anyone has done any work in this area I'd love to hear from you!


ravi said...

hi, thanks for the link.

for nearly 75% of the firms the actual costs of IT are either known vaguely or not known at all(ventana research). for this majority measuring ROI is corollary to accurate charging.

it will be interesting to explore the reasons. find relevant posts at

cheers! ravi

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