Extensive transparency is required for the allocation and invoicing of IT services, not only in the private economy but also in public administrations, as the complexity of tasks involved in controlling processes is increasing for local and central government authorities. In parallel IT services are developing too; they are constantly being adapted to new customer requirements. The two-way nature of many types of costs/services, cost centers and service recipients plays an important part in the controlling and costing of IT services.
The main task is to show the costs relating to these structures and their relationship to one another within IT services, in a transparent, comprehensible and audit-proof manner. The contribution that the netinsight IT controlling platform can make to administration is shown by the practical example of Baden-Württemberg Council’s IT centre (IZLBW).
IZLBW does not lack flexibility and transparency when it comes to the planning, costing and control of their IT services. Access to these is particularly clear with netinsight. The regional German authority, the third biggest in the country, is the first to use the modular software; their IT experts use the services in information and communication technology for various departments.
A high level of complexity and many strategically important tasks; this is the IT infrastructure that IZLBW has to manage. Around 370 employees on the Stuttgart site have to constantly guarantee the secure flow of information between the administration sites. From data processing operations for the local administration to network management, software development, handling specialized processes and office communication, comprising many different components, through to IT procurement and consulting; the range is demanding.
In order to manage the increasing demands and the growing complexity of the provision of services, the procurement of an IT controlling system was put out to tender in 2008.
Andreas Schäfer, division manager for IZLBW, explains: “Up till now we have mainly used SAP to capture our IT costs and allocate them to the relevant cost centers. The accounting department, providing the essential basic data for controlling, also worked with SAP. A lot of data for the invoicing of services was captured and processed in numerous Excel spreadsheets. The standard solution provided by SAP gradually became no longer sufficient for our requirements.”
For the solution they needed, the tender’s objective was greater transparency of IT costs and above all more flexibility in the planning and costing of IT services. The decision was made to choose the netinsight platform from nicetec.
“It is well worth to emphasize,” says Schäfer, “the netinsight company’s high level of flexibility regarding the introduction and use of netinsight in IZLBW. They always react so quickly and flexibly to customer-specific demands and requests. Netinsight provides an important basis for our annual planning and reporting.”
The consequences of theoretical discrepancies in the costing model can be tested in so-called what-if scenarios, in which, for example, changes in the costs of certain IT services due to the introduction of new projects can be observed using economies of scale. In this context, auditability is particularly important. With netinsight, automatic data historization guarantees that when simulating different versions of a plan, the real data always remains unchanged in the system.
There are numerous costing and controlling results available centrally for those employees responsible for these tasks at IZLBW using the integrated Business Intelligence Platform. This ad hoc reporting system allows data and reports to be held online and called up “at the touch of a button”. The platform thereby ensures the greatest possible transparency for all those responsible for IT services and costs.
Being able to calculate IT prices comprehensibly and allocate the costs accurately is the fundamental basis of secure planning for division manager Andreas Schäfer. In his opinion, this makes the netinsight IT Controlling platform from nicetec, with its modular structure, a tool well-suited to the task at hand.
The IT centre for the state administration of Baden-Württemberg (IZLBW) is the service provider of modern IT and communications technology within the Baden-Württemberg state administration. The IZLBW is the first state authority to use netinsight from nicetec and aims to achieve greater transparency of their IT costs and more flexibility in the planning and calculation of their IT services.