Financial Management

This section gives ideas for how Financial Management activities can be applied with Service Desk.

Financial Management Overview

No single process or product feature delivers this ability as a ‘package’. Instead, a combination of activities working with the Service Lifecycle process (see Service Portfolio Management) enable you to achieve Financial Management of your IT Services.

To achieve these Financial Management suggestions, you must be using at least the following activities and processes in Service Desk:

  1. Configuration Management
  2. Service Portfolio Management
  3. Service Catalog Management

When working with financial data in Service Desk, you may choose to hide windows and fields from general visibility. Financial data can be confidential and it may be inappropriate to share it with IT staff. You can make fields or windows in Service Desk selectively visible by setting privileges on individual fields in Object Designer, at a Business Object level, or by publishing different window views to different groups or roles.

For more information, see Privileging specific attributes and Publishing windows.

Cost Allocation in Service Desk

In Service Desk, individual Services are made of linked component CIs. Delivery of each Service has associated costs that can be simple or complex depending on your needs.

To record costs for the Services, add the Service Cost fields in Window Designer. These include a total cost value for the Service and a cost center list.

As Services and component CIs are all CIs in the CMDB, these fields are available to apply to any CI as well as the top-level service. The Cost values vary according the type of CI: the costs for hardware items include the hardware costs and the maintenance costs; software costs may include both the licenses and maintenance. Additional costs such as personnel and utility may also apply.

Consider also the different cost categories that may apply. When adding a cost, set the appropriate category type value on the cost to indicate if it is direct, indirect, fixed, and so on.

In a shared service model, you require more than one cost center or business unit to have costs allocated to it, you can also change your cost design in Service Desk. Add a Collection of Costs to the Service, with each Cost having a value, a cost center or business unit and the different cost types as described above.

Other Financial Management concepts in Service Desk are:

Rolling Plans: During the evolution of a Service through its strategy, design, transition, and operation stages you may want to view the associated costs. Modify your Service Portfolio query to show the current cost for each Service alongside its portfolio status. When your service costs are understood, it is also useful to see a view of future expense over time for a service to help with producing an ongoing Rolling Plan. Refer to the example financial reports provided to see both the impact of downtime Costs over Time, and also the Service income and expense over a three year period.

Metered and Variable Costs: Where a service is supplied on a per-user, or per-time-period basis, your Finance reports can multiply the defined service charge (on the Service CI window) by the appropriate variables such as number of users or periods of time.

Customer Charging

In addition to the various costs that IT may bear in delivering Services to the business, you can also apply charging to the customers of IT for the services that they consume via request fulfillment. Different charging models can be supported in Service Desk:

Service Level Management: If you are using Financial Management activities it is very likely that Service Level Agreements are in place between you and your customers. You can detail different tiered customer charge models in the Gold, Silver, and Bronze descriptions on the Service Window. You can define additional charge options beyond these examples, but good Financial Management always benefits from following the simplest model possible.

Notional Charging: Where no actual transfer of funds, payment of bills, or balancing of funds takes place, you can still charge 'notionally'. That is, the full extent of the charging model can still be followed.

Direct/Cost-Plus Charging: Where a combination of Direct and Indirect Costs may be applied, the financial reports produced can add these together providing a 'direct-plus' view.

Fixed Charges: This is a simple calculation where for each customer a price is defined for the service. Again, the Financial report used provides the calculation for this.

ROI, NPV and IRR: The ROI and the values for Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return are calculated with Service Finance Reports. Enter the current total cost of service produced from your Finance Cost reports in the Cost of Service field. Enter the current total service earnings from your Finance Billing reports in the Service Earnings fields. Calculations from within Crystal Reports produce ROI, NPV and IRR. For more detail on the formula for these, see the Crystal Reports help files.

Post Program ROI is not calculated as a function of Service Desk. However, Service Desk does support the softer activities that typically make up the function, such as questionnaires and surveys. To ensure that this takes place, add an action to the Service Lifecycle process to gather the necessary data. Place this action after the Go Live of the Service. Adding this for all your Services should ensure that every Service can be assessed this way, in a consistent fashion.

Budgeting

In order to understand if your services are being delivered in budget you will need to record both how much money you are expecting it to cost and how much it actually does cost in terms of delivering the service. To see how far apart these numbers are, use the BudgetDeviation.rpt Crystal report provided.

External Data

As with most other activities in Service Desk, you can import data from multiple sources to populate cost fields on the Service if required. For more information about data import, see Data Import.


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