woman holding cashOne trend that we’ve noticed is that organisations are typically very poor at organising themselves to create good cross-charging schemes for the supply of internal IT infrastructure or IT shared services, and often only have a very coarse-grained view of what the provision of these services really cost. At an individual change project level, this makes it impossible to make educated judgements about the likely ‘run’ cost of a solution, and so the architectural trade-offs that have to be made must be sub-optimal.

An explanation I’ve heard in the past for this is that the internal accountants just don’t “get it”, but that’s never rung quite true with me. I read an interesting suggestion on the cloud computing Google group for another reason – that if internal IT managers did accurately define the costs of internal shared IT service provision then they would be opening themselves up for direct comparison with external providers of equivalent services, so it’s a defensive mechanism basically. They don’t want a Cx0 coming to them saying “OK – you change me £x per service call, but I can get them for £y from [substitute your favourite cloud/SaaS etc offering here]“…