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General Chat Thread, Financial Management of ICT? in General; Does anyone here do their own Financial Management? I'm interested in the budgeting and accounting side of things. In particular, ...
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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Financial Management of ICT?

    Does anyone here do their own Financial Management? I'm interested in the budgeting and accounting side of things. In particular, how much planning do you put into your budgeting? Do you do full Total Cost of Ownership and Cost/Benefit Analysis breakdowns for major projects for example? Do you reality check these predictions with real world usage in your subsequent accounting?

    Yes, I've read the Financial Management Section of BECTAs FITS Guide:

    http://www.becta.org.uk/tsas/docs/fits_financial.pdf

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Well this is my first year at it, but up to a point, yes I do the financial management.

    I have created a basic 5-year plan that includes life-cycle upgrades for all equipment, consumable costs, some development work I know I want to do, migration to Win2k8/Win7, server virtualisation and SAN work, spare/repaires budget and Internet connection costs.

    I also keep copies (excel spreadsheets) of all orders placed and running totals for the various budgets I have.

    Come April and the new budget I'll get to see how well this all works and if my planning/record keeping needs refinement come next year.

    We're a smallish school here so a lot of the TCO, assign jobs, etc that the FITS guide goes into is a bit overkill for us. All the roles mentioned in the FITS guide seem to boil down to being just me. I'm responsible for the IT budget, I'm responsible for the purchasing, the Tech's don't do any purchasing.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Becta Schools - ICT investment planner is a good place to start but also have a look at the following presentation run at the LGfL Tech Conference the other year, http://cms.lgfl.net/c/document_libra...e=9.40 TCO.ppt

    HTH
    Last edited by GrumbleDook; 24th March 2009 at 03:28 PM.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Thanks, keep it coming. Also (for unrelated things) NCSL and Becta Matrix looks handy

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    The self review framework for the ICT mark may be of use:
    https://selfreview.becta.org.uk/

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    budgester's Avatar
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    Find attached a blank copy of my yearly budgeting sheet.

    I start compiling this around Dec/Jan hand it over to SLT/School Business Manager and let them decide what projects they want done.

    Hope this helps.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. Thanks to budgester from:

    dave.81 (25th March 2009)

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    I'm also interested in people who don't do any finacial management (and why!)?

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    I've just started here and I'm starting to put together a 3/4/5yr development plan and budget for the department. Previously there wasn't any financial management of IT spend/IT support so I'm having to work from and plan from some very sketchy figures!

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    @Soulfish. Had to do the same here. New plan from scratch. The worst part was (and to some extent still is) getting an handle on the whole inventory. I'm just about on top of how meny machines we have - but not how meny of any particular type. And I've got the basics down for the most important licenses - Serif and M$. What's making life difficult is determining the ages of the various bits of equipment and assigning realistic life cycles.

    I'm having to go on things like 'bios revision date' or 'release date of the processor used' to date machine and get some guide as to when they need replacing.

    Problem with that is, it turns out most machines need replacing this year and are already beyond lifecycle on either a 4 or 5 year replacement strategy

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    @Soulfish. Had to do the same here. New plan from scratch. The worst part was (and to some extent still is) getting an handle on the whole inventory. I'm just about on top of how meny machines we have - but not how meny of any particular type. And I've got the basics down for the most important licenses - Serif and M$. What's making life difficult is determining the ages of the various bits of equipment and assigning realistic life cycles.

    I'm having to go on things like 'bios revision date' or 'release date of the processor used' to date machine and get some guide as to when they need replacing.

    Problem with that is, it turns out most machines need replacing this year and are already beyond lifecycle on either a 4 or 5 year replacement strategy
    Sounds like the same problems I'm having! Seems that around 60% of the machines are beyond even a 5-year lifecycle, and finding out what licenses we have is proving difficult. Ramesys were able to give me a list of what we've bought from them, but it seems that some of the earliest XP/2k3 CALs were purchased elsewhere

    I have a fairly good idea of what hardware we have now thanks to the wonderful OCS-NG inventory software. Just need to get it hooked into GLPI and I can move us away from our very basic help desk system!

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    I had a nightmare start to the job here with predecessor leaving a stack of relatively unorganised paperwork and just some "overview figures" of what we were licenced for/ what was in place.

    I've had to quickly knock the budget together to work out what is needed in school and plan for 2009/2010 requirements whilst looking at 2010/2011 plans.
    Main problem being that we're becoming a BSF co-funded school so all of the plans have been thrown out of the window and I'm trying to get my head around what I can put in and move to the new building and what is just going to be written off when they knock half the school down.

    Plan of action for the next couple of months is to get a proper ICT strategy down on paper with the SMT so I can plan for the BSF build effectively instead of (what it appears my predecessor did) reacting to requirements instead of defining and planning for change.

    Of course, the IT support team have to provide help for every area of electronics / wiring / technical system so it's taking the whole team of us to draw plans up for what is possible and what is in place at the moment.
    Site surveys are interesting to undertake - asking lots of nice questions like "do you use...? when did you last do.... the systems that are in, what are your experiences of X Y Z?" etc.

    I think that we have to carry a lot on our shoulders and that should bring a sober reality to us - we're daily affecting teaching and learning, so we have to plan well with what we can and bring cases before management effectively where necessary.

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    I did have a plan in place, but then they decided they wanted to change the location of the main ICT areas in the school, and with it the entire ICT strategy as well so that went out the window! I'm now planning for that short term, as well as planning for renewing much of our network backend this year which has lacked any significant investement for a while now.

    Once we're on a level playing field again, I'm going to have another go at the longer term financial planning aspect. The problem I find is things are changing so quickly at the moment in the school I work in, it's almost impossible to make proper long term plans. There's also a lot of uncertainties, like we're supposed to be getting a complete new building at some point, but at the moment because of the financial situation of the LEA, that hangs in the balance and may or maynot actually happen. Things like that make it a nightmare to plan, and you almost need two versions of the plan to cope with that sort of situation.

    The other thing I find extreemly difficult is planning for equipment failures. For instance we've have had a massive number of our D510 laptops fail in the last 6 months, way more than I ever would have predicted. I think I planned for about 10% failure rate, we're actually nearer 25% failure rate on those particular machines. Therefore I've spent a significant amount more than was budgeted and that in turn throws everything else out.

    Mike.

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    What tools/resources are you all using to do you financial management and planning? Do you just have spreadsheets like budgester or other things as well?

    If anyone is willing to share their plans/tools then that would also be greatly appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    @Soulfish. Had to do the same here. New plan from scratch. The worst part was (and to some extent still is) getting an handle on the whole inventory. I'm just about on top of how meny machines we have - but not how meny of any particular type. And I've got the basics down for the most important licenses - Serif and M$. What's making life difficult is determining the ages of the various bits of equipment and assigning realistic life cycles.

    I'm having to go on things like 'bios revision date' or 'release date of the processor used' to date machine and get some guide as to when they need replacing.

    Problem with that is, it turns out most machines need replacing this year and are already beyond lifecycle on either a 4 or 5 year replacement strategy

    Yep, im pretty much in the same boat as you (apart from the licenses ).

    I finished off last years budget with things we needed like consumables and the like, but this April i am planning what the budget is to be spent on, not wasted like it has been. Looking over last years purchases before i started i couldnt see anything worthwhile, it was just wasted.

    I've also given a 3 year plan to my Line Manager/IT Coordinator telling him what i feel needs to updated/replaced.

    Big learning curve for me..

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    budgester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    What tools/resources are you all using to do you financial management and planning? Do you just have spreadsheets like budgester or other things as well?

    If anyone is willing to share their plans/tools then that would also be greatly appreciated
    FYI, that spreadsheet is just one of the tools that we use.

    I also go through the SIP document with a member of SLT so that I can map out what is likely to be required.

    One of the main issues that I do have is that Faculties don't have very good planning of what they are going to teach let alone the technology they require, so quite often half way through they year I'll get a request for hardware or software, that is no budgeted for.

    At this point I usually send them to the bursar/school business manager to ask for the money themselves or offer to add it to my next years budget planning, with no guarantee of it actually happening.

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