IT chargeback can be a very powerful tool for managers to control the increasing IT costs of their organization. However, without proper implementation, IT chargeback mechanisms may be deemed controversial within the organization, or sometimes even downright unpalatable. If handled poorly, effective IT chargeback can create misunderstandings between the IT departments and its internal customers, or even between managers who are directly responsible for their respective department budgets and their direct reports who use and consume IT resources, causing IT costs to increase.
The diagram below shows an effective deployment process of IT chargeback in an organization.
Before even planning on creating an effective IT chargeback mechanism, an organization must first establish the reasons for implementing it. Different goals would, of course, call for different models. However, the bottom line is that the model should be easy to communicate and could be readily understood by anyone in the company. It should be easy for IT to manage, control and verify, which means that a fully automated system would be preferable. It should be considered fair by most business users. And it should encourage optimized IT resource usage.
Fairness and Good Behavior
Consider an employee who had to come to work on a weekend so that he could use an application that is always completely checked out during weekdays. He worked 8 hours on a weekend and yet he would be charged the same as another employee who hogged all 8 licenses for one hour during peak time. Of course, this would not be fair for the employee who sacrificed his weekend to get the job done.
In this scenario, the IT chargeback model that was used was not fair for everyone and would thus be a source of discontent among users. Furthermore, it would not foster good behavior in IT usage among users since there are no consequences for license hoggers.
An effective IT chargeback mechanism would take these things in consideration in order to foster fairness and avoid counter-productive behavior among users. Determining the best allocation model for an organization is key to successful implementation of IT chargeback.