One of the trends we see these days has been an extension of activity-based costing principles directly to the entire IT environment. In the past, colleges and universities limited the idea of full costing to telecommunications and networking, but in recent years there has been significant interest in extending the identification of fully-loaded cost into IT. It seems in these hard economic times, everyone is interested in what things really cost and how the cost of services might be reduced. One way to reduce costs is to conduct an analysis of services provided by central providers on campus and departments. This analysis will give you the knowledge necessary to consolidate duplicate services, discontinue departmental services that are centrally provided, or combinations of other ways to reduce your IT costs.
Another trend we have been seeing across different institutions is an interest in integrating strategic technology planning, with capital and operating cost projections, and the development of rate and funding plans to come up with a realistic picture of what it will take to fund strategic goals. These are complex interactions that need clear issues-based decisions. Creating such models and plans for your institution will allow for greater flexibility for the adoption of newer technology solutions, like mobility.
With all the issues in the economy today, it is important to fully utilize your budget in a way that best benefits your institution. Creating a practical 5 or 10-year plan will help you focus on what is important and make sure you are able to reach all your strategic goals.