“The following case study has been approved for appropriate audiences by fans of information technology cost transparency” blared from the projector and set the stage for last week’s Impact 2015 “IT Financial Management (ITFM) from the Movies” presentation. Have no fear, the edited version of the Motion Pictures Association of America’s bright green famous screenshot was appropriate for all attendees.
The session’s speaker, Ted Townsend, knows IT cost transparency better than most, but even better than that, he displayed a sense of humor about ITFM. Ted utilized humor by showing a famous Jurassic Park clip synonymous with much of the large and unfocused data available today. Your IT customers will be like this if left with inaccurate and ineffective data. But don’t be scared though, until the next sequel, Jaws will not be a threat, and your credibility will not be threatened either. That’s where ITFM comes in. Put away your Harry Potter wand because ITFM isn’t magic. Everyone outside of IT wants more details on IT, which is fine and dandy, as long as you have the right ITFM solution in place.
Ted jumped into a case in point regarding SharePoint. One of his previous organizations (which shall remain nameless) started creating databases lumped into farms across SharePoint. Each database was then replicated on each type of environment. Without knowing it, said nameless organization accidentally created massive quantities of data structures, which spiraled out of control similar to this scene of multiplying Mogwai from Gremlins.
Ted’s team understood the then-existing process wouldn’t work for the long-run. At one point, Ted wanted to view costs as they related to each associate. In order to do this, the team had to drill down into costs at that level. After the initial allocation run, SharePoint showed up as the firm’s most expensive application – and SharePoint is not expensive. The problem: “a database is a database is a database” mentality. Ted’s team tried to put a price tag on their database – and accidentally created a monster. The team went back the database drawing board.
Enter ComSci. Increased governance, service rationalization, chargeback and improved cost allocations methodology resulted after Ted implemented ComSci. SharePoint requests were now automated with workflow approval. SharePoint sites also became a “pay to play” with rationalization of and awareness of cost by each internal technology consumer. The team also enhanced the database allocation methodology and forever banned the “a database is a database is a database” mentality. Ted encouraged the audience, “don’t architect beyond your data. Understand what it can do and its quality. That’s where most go wrong.” After digging through existing SharePoint sites, Ted and team quickly realized the massive quantities of often disorganized data existed. Through a thorough rationalization process, they turned SharePoint into a profit center – a big improvement from what was previously the most expensive application.
The Sorcerer’s Application (aka ComSci, thank you Harry Potter) worked its magic and enabled Ted and team to create more costs from SharePoint, have a more refined view of associated costs, see total cost of employee and understand unit/volume to help predict future costs. What a wonderful concoction by the data Sorcerer.
Bravo, Ted, at the outset of your presentation, I wondered how ITFM related to movies, but you waved your magic wand and provided the answer.