Caught this post on Apptio’s blog re: optimizing IT budgets. It summarizes a Gartner report — I’ve seen earlier versions — which is interesting and Apptio will provide the report if you provide them your contact info. The analysis:
…breaks down IT spending and identifies four best practices for strategic IT budget management. Of these, the recommendation to “follow the money,” is of key importance to IT leaders. Knowing where the IT budget currently gets spent is the most important part of your budget strategy.
The post then highlights the top four areas of spend, which typically make up around two-thirds of an IT budget: Data Center, Application Development, Application Support, and End-User Computing.
One point: the separation of mobile topics into the categories of “End-User Computing”, “Data Networking”, and “Voice Networking” is both useful and potentially confusing. It’s useful because it reminds us that just because we get billed for mobile in one package, we should decompose the costs like we would for other capabilities. It’s worth the time to break bundled costs down: you may need to differentiate service levels among your customers or find that mobile is providing capability that makes other options redundant (e.g., mobile hotspot vs. reimbursing WiFi/home cable subscriptions).
It could be confusing because the costs aren’t as easily severable as other capabilities. In other words, trying to economize on a data plan may mean we lose credit on voice or device costs. In fact, the model itself is very PC-centric in that way: each of these cost drivers is typically provided in separate invoices or line items. Even worse, if you do try to account for it in a model, I’ve found my telecom staff can get deep into the weeds trying to model those last few mobile dollars.