Success Stories: NYS Office of the State Comptroller

By: David Van Deusen/Director of Information Technology/Divison of the CIO

The NYS Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) started its journey into ITFM in 2012 years ago with the fundamental idea to provide transparency into IT costs and to afford the business groups a sense of what their IT dollar was being spent on.

With an estimated IT budget of about $50 million for personal and non-personal expenses, the IT Business Management group of the Chief Information Office laid out a plan and process to effectuate this objective.

There have been many hurdles to cross along the way, but today, ITFM is functioning well and providing valuable information to the business of OSC.

Data Collection

At initiation in 2012, there were challenges in collecting IT salary data as well as for expenses incurred for purchases made. When data was ultimately obtained through various sources, it had to be manually entered by staff into Excel spreadsheets.

Today, OSC has established an automated data feed of staff salaries from the NYS Payroll System, with the salaries being directly allocated to the team that is providing services. The automation has afforded staff to spend time on other more complex analysis tasks and also provides integrity to the salary information.

A second automated data feed of IT purchases made is also received from the NYS State Financial System and assigned to an appropriate cost bucket for downstream processing. The benefits gained by the automation of this data collection are also numerous.

Cost Apportionment and Invoicing

After only one year of generating invoices for IT Services, it became quickly apparent that Excel spreadsheets would not be robust enough to sustain ITFM in the longer term.

To support the ongoing program, OSC purchased an ITFM tool and has recently (2018) upgraded to the latest version of the offering. The cost modeling and apportionment modules are easily maintained and allow us to be not only reactive but also proactive, in our approach to changing technologies and costs within the ITFM space.

OSC was challenged with a poorly designed time reporting system which made it difficult to assess how IT staff were spending their time. To that end, we initiated an exercise to more accurately identify IT Services being performed by all staff and rationalize them across our organization.

The outcome was positive in a number of ways:

· Reporting has been standardized and facilitates the consolidation and apportionment of staff hours/salaries much more easily;

· Staff members have a much better understanding of the services that they are providing as well as how their services are presented (or not) on the customer’s annual invoice;

· A standardized list of business customers was established to ensure costs were being distributed accurately and fairly to the correct customer.

Collaboration

A key factor to our success is the collaboration and rapport that has been established with our Finance department and Director of Finance. Together, we present a united and solid position with regard to the accuracy and integrity of IT related expenses. Previous to this collaboration, we were somewhat on our own to try to validate these costs with our business partners.

Summary

As OSC enters its 7th year of ITFM, we are pleased to state that we have an extremely stable and smoothly functioning ITFM system. We are able to successfully produce yearly IT Invoices “on time” and are confident that the data being presented has integrity and is demonstrably accurate to our business customers.

With a stable and well operating model, we can now continue to evaluate areas of growth and maturity to eventually provide even better transparency into IT-related expenses and to also ensure that we are maximizing our opportunities.

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