Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Who's the boss when it comes to IT network spending?

A recent Gartner survey indicated that it's becoming more common for the CFO to play a bigger role in IT decisions. The survey, which reflected the views of senior financial executives, showed only about 30% believe IT provides clear business benefits or view the CIO as a strategic partner.

Analyst John Van Decker says the results reflect the bias of CFOs during tough financial times and the need for IT to "get much closer to business."

At Uplogix we get the fact that we need to do more than wow IT folks with our local management solutions like we did at Cisco Live recently (see the photos!). We're the first (and only, as far as we can tell...) ones addressing some of the core challenges of network management that have just become accepted costs of doing business -- impacting the bottom line that CFOs really care about.

We built a detailed ROI calculator to speak to the CIO, as well as answer the questions that the CFO has. Here is a quick overview of the calculator:

Network Infrastructure
What does your network look like? We built the calculator to start off generally and get more specific. If you have a variety of sites with some that are small, with few devices, or large and complicated, break them out and run the calculator for each site type, then add up your results. This will give you a better calculation than just using a broad average.

Infrastructure Management

These are the hard costs of IT - how many times do you need to touch a device in the field? And since the cost of unplanned touches are rarely the same as the cost of planned activities, what's the ratio?

When an event requires a site visit, what does that cost? It adds up pretty quickly when you look across your whole network.

Opportunity Cost
When there are issues in the network, what does that cost the business? In some companies, unscheduled downtime is unthinkable, for others, it's merely disruptive. With Uplogix, impact both planned and unplanned downtime with network automation you can implement with confidence.

The Uplogix Solution
This section has one of the most important controls in the calculator - the assumption slides. We're confident that Uplogix will reduce both downtime and the need for site visits in your network, but you set the percentages you are comfortable with. This was a feature we saw as missing from most other IT ROI calculators that tend to default to best case scenarios.

Here is where your CFO will take an interest. Net out the results from the savings with Uplogix less the cost of the solution. We'll calculate the payback period, plus some nifty financial things like the net present value so the CFO can gauge value of this IT project in the way they see the world, through a financial lens where everyone is competing for the same dollars.

That's it -- please give the calculator a look and let us know what you think. It might just let you and the CFO see eye-to-eye.