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keeping tabs on the cost of your people’s IT equipment

a hand’s on guide based on real-life work that could save you a fortune!

adrian leer capital X


managing your it costs •

my own experience has shown that often the true costs of providing IT kit and components gets blurred in corporate accounting systems and therefore does not get managed effectively

well-meaning attempts to charge out IT costs equitably can sometimes lead to the bigger picture never being painted – a common example is the corporate mobile phone bill which is often broken down into much smaller cost centres and rarely managed at the top level

a non-stop conveyor belt of new product introductions can lead to a proliferation of technology and a bloated technology estate … this may be justifiable to enable competitive advantage but business owners deserve to know what the associated costs are

this document shares a very simple, bottom-up approach to tackling these issues

when I applied the same techniques within a complex group of companies it led to massive cost reductions in mobile communications, revised specifications on laptop computing, and a much-streamlined approach to hardware maintenance and support – all with the complete and total support of the user community!

if you are interested, send me an email at adrian.leer@capitalx.co.uk and I will send you the spreadsheets I used to apply these approaches


key questions •

do you know who has what equipment?

do you really know what each bit of kit costs?

do you know how that all adds up?

can you describe where your key purchasing levers are?

can you say that the allocation of IT kit and the associated costs matches your company’s strategic priorities?

do your colleagues have an appreciation of how much it costs “to keep them on the road”?

… let’s see how we can address these issues


a few simple steps ‌

make a list of your people, optionally with job titles, company and other analysable data (see next page)

make a list of the equipment you want to analyse, with estimated annual cost (see next page)

use the power of excel to analyse the data, see in the next few slides

create a master of list with one row of data for each piece of kit used by each person (see next page)


example spreadsheet layouts (1) Worksheet for the analysis of the costs of people's IT equipment, from Capital X Ltd Data Entry Sheet for Approximate Annual Cost of Each Item

Item* 3G card Blackberry Camera Desktop Computer Docking Station Laptop Computer Mobile Phone Modem Monitor PDA Printer Scanner Smart Device Software Telephone

Cost* 350 582 60 162 42 377 1033 10 48 150 250 300 632 250 100

Class Mobile Comms Mobile Comms Peripheral Computer Computer Computer Mobile Comms Mobile Comms Computer Computer Peripheral Peripheral Mobile Comms Software Desk Phone

Hints and Tips Think about how you may want to group equipment into classes, for further analysis. The cost column is intended to capture an approximate annual cost for running that item, so might include one third of a three year lease amount, a year's software assurance, etc.

You can use the cost column later on for "what if analysis", e.g. "what if we could reduce the cost of mobile phones by 50%?"


example spreadsheet layouts (2)

Worksheet for the analysis of the costs of people's IT equipment, from Capital X Ltd Data Entry Sheet for People and their Equipment

Name

Job Title

Company

Item

Class

Andrew Pettifer Andrew Pettifer Andrew Pettifer Andrew Pettifer Anna Howe Anna Howe Anna Howe Anna Howe Bill Mann Bill Mann Bill Mann Billy Bailey Billy Bailey Billy Bucknall Billy Bucknall Billy Bucknall Billy Chell Billy Chell Billy Collison Billy Collison Billy Collison

Director Director Director Director Site Manager Site Manager Site Manager Site Manager Package Manager Package Manager Package Manager Design Manager Design Manager Design Manager Design Manager Design Manager Site Surveyor Site Surveyor Operations Director Operations Director Operations Director

Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company Company

Telephone Blackberry Laptop Computer 3G card Laptop Computer Telephone Blackberry Desktop Computer Camera Laptop Computer Smart Device Mobile Phone Laptop Computer Mobile Phone Software Blackberry Laptop Computer Camera Laptop Computer Mobile Phone Telephone

Desk Phone Mobile Comms Computer Mobile Comms Computer Desk Phone Mobile Comms Computer Peripheral Computer Mobile Comms Mobile Comms Computer Mobile Comms Software Mobile Comms Computer Peripheral Computer Mobile Comms Desk Phone

A A A A A A A A B B B B B D D D B B B B B

Annual Cost 100 582 377 350 377 100 582 162 60 377 632 1033 377 1033 250 582 377 60 377 1033 100


getting ready to analyse •

the following sample analyses have been developed by using two key tools in microsoft excel

 Data -> Filter -> Autofilter … to let you manipulate your master list  Data -> PivotTable and Pivot Chart Report … to let you slice and dice your data


example #1 – breakdown of costs by item

Total cost per category (£) Smart Device, 3792 Scanner, 300

Telephone, Software, 2000 1900 3G card, 1750

Printer, 500

PDA, 1050 Monitor, 624

Blackberry, 12222

Modem, 10

Camera, 180 Desktop Computer, 1944 Docking Station, 210 Mobile Phone, 21000 Laptop Computer, 12441

using the chart wizard from the pivot table export, this is a quick illustration of the source of costs. in this real-life example, the cost of mobile phones represented a whopping 44% of total spend! (and led to a substantial procurement exercise to reduce costs significantly)


example #2 – cost profile per person 3000

Cost of all equipment per person (£) 2500 Telephone Software

2000

Smart Device Scanner Printer

1500

PDA Monitor Modem

1000

Mobile Phone Laptop Computer Docking Station

500

Desktop Computer Camera Blackberry

Andrew Pettifer Anna Howe Bill Mann Billy Bailey Billy Bucknall Billy Chell Billy Collison Billy French Billy Hunt Billy Norman Billy Pape Billy Thornton Billy Tonge Brenda Granger Bud Harding Chloe Slater Cleo Blake Daisy Perks Dis Das Flora Matthews Hooter Sipthorp Joao Barton Joao McDonald Joao Pugh Jock Macpherson Jock Mawson Jock Payne Juan Careless Juan Dickens Juan Fotherby Juan O'Hara Juan Stanley Juan Wells Julius Rotundo Louisa Godwin Mark Anthony OBrien Piotr Parkes Piotr Pepper Rex Leer Rex Moore Seamus Duncan Simon Strohman Tex Teixeira Troy Underdown Zeb Glover Zeb Pettifer

0

3G card

this is a very powerful chart produced again from the chart wizard within the pivot table toolbar. by plotting the sum of annual cost against each person, you can quickly see both the spread and the total spend of it on each colleague and – in this format – proves very amenable to group discussions as to the reasons for inconsistency

in my target organisation, this chart was used to consolidate the number of mobile devices per person but also to challenge why some workers within a particular group were not availing themselves of the most appropriate technology


example 3 – drilldown analysis within classes

finally, an example of how the tool can be used to home in on a subset of a data group. in this case, we use the “class” column in the spreadsheet to restrict our view to only those items that belong to the class “computer”

in a similar fashion, this “subsetting” can be used to filter views by company, by item, etc.

it is handy to remember that you can use various statistical functions within the charting and reporting, including counting and averaging


Summary • •

Hopefully you have seen that a simple data-led approach can reveal some key insights into where your costs go If you want to understand more about the technique, or if you feel that you need help in analysing your own cost base, please don't hesitate to contact me

adrian.leer@capitalx.co.uk

capital X is a boutique consultancy whose aim is simply to create fitter, faster, stronger organisations. We have experience spanning the spectrum of organisational activity, with specialisms in technology, change management, strategy, service improvement and cost management

Capital X - Analysing the cost of your IT kit  

Guide for understanding and analysing the total cost expended on equipment allocated to your organisation's workforce

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