Goodstart ICT utilises ClearCost to boost meaningful conversations with the wider business

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The Goodstart ICT Team have been using ClearCost for about 6 years now. This has been a key application within the team, to manage our day-to-day operational budget.

In the last 12 months, we have spent the time to build out the model in its entirety and the results have been a game changer for us. Our management team are now completely responsible for their budget and spend, and have clear visibility of their financial position at all times. We are able to provide a very comprehensive ‘show back’ model to the business, advising ‘total cost of ownership’ for the IT spend across all departments.

The application also allows us to ‘model’ scenarios that the business is contemplating. For example, we can provide a financial model of what a sizable acquisition would look like to the business. During the budgeting process, we can model up different budgeting scenarios to have a well-rounded discussion with the CFO, when cost reductions are a driving influence.

Overall, ClearCost is a key application within the ICT Team. The application provides us with the ability to clearly articulate our financial position and engage in meaningful conversations with the wider business.

Kelly Farquharson,
ICT Manager –
People and Finance

The Client

Goodstart Early Learning is Australia’s largest provider of early learning, supporting over 650 centres across Australia.

As an organisation, Goodstart is committed to delivering first class education to children through a non-for-profit model where every dollar is invested back into the children’s education.

The Challenge

Goodstart ICT functions as a support department within the organisation, providing technology services to delivering early learning across over 600 centres and supporting 17,000 users ranging from the core business applications and end-user computing to the underlying infrastructure and network operations.

Having to support a large number of Centres and many users relying on the IT services to enable their job, as well as the cost pressures of operating as a not-for-profit organisation, ICT required the ability to articulate what drives their expenditure and implement proactive conversations around cost control and the value ICT provides to the business.

As part of the ongoing ITFM maturity within ICT, being able to communicate the cost drivers, what their forecast is made up of, and how that spend gets allocated to the services that drive it and distribute ownership over expenditure responsibilities was crucial to yield further value. They understood that as a service provider to the business, reduction in budget often results in a reduction of service offerings so the ability to showback the TCO of IT expenditure to the Centres and wider business became crucial to change the conversation around cost reductions and allow for more informed decisions to occur. The changing landscape in how many Centres are supported also required ICT to be agile in understanding the impact of new Centres on their own forecasts as well.

The Goal

To provide Goodstart ICT with a mature and capable ITFM solution to enable transparency over the IT investment to support the business and improve ownership over spend responsibilities.

The Solution

ClearCost software and professional services have led to:

  • Transparency across the cost to delivery all ICT outputs and services.
  • Budgeting and forecasting to support the finance team as well as understand the impact of those scenarios on the business.
  • Visibility over supplier costs with actionable dates and other supplier attributes built in to assist with insight and management responsibility.
  • Reconcile cloud resources against the business services and capabilities that drive those costs.
  • Visibility on any underspend within the IT budget to be able to realise cost savings and action appropriately.
  • Tracking of costs to see upcoming or occurred overages and explain the “why” of what occurred to assist with managing the overrun. See where it might occur with software.
  • A defensible Bill of IT enabling visibility on cost to support each of Goodstart’s early learning centres and corporate support departments.
  • A costed service catalogue encompassing a business facing view of the service catalogue and an IT focused view of the technical services.
  • Respond to IT benchmarks quickly with on demand reporting and flexible data model manipulation.
  • Flexibility to track costs against different IT capability and governance models such as the COBIT framework.

The Results

Through establishing ITFM as a management process supported by ClearCost technology, Goodstart ICT can now demonstrate the showback of actual and forecasted expenditure across the business to drive positive behavioural changes within the organisation.

Examples of this accountability include having meaningful, strategic conversations with the Finance department regarding spend across all aspects of the business with clarity over what drives ICT operations expenditure.

Through the incorporation of Azure consumption data, greater financial responsibility has been distributed to managers which helps to drive proactive conversations around spend control and clarity over the cost drivers for their cloud resources.

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