In the last part of our six-part series on understanding the FedITAM Framework, we’ll come full circle by examining the financial and capital planning process with regard to IT assets.
The FedITAM Framework recommends that you ask two questions to ensure that you’re purchasing and using IT assets in a way that maximizes their value:
What are opportunities to increase return on investment and improve cash-flow through smarter buys and uses?
Maximizing ROI and cash flow in terms of IT assets requires taking a long view. Consider printers, for example: your initial outlay is only a small fraction of your total investment, which includes consumables, service, electrical power, and end-of-life management costs. For some purchases, your cash flow may take a bigger hit during the acquisition phase, but you’ll save money in the long term. To help you figure a purchase’s TCO, check out this tool from the Federal Electronics Challenge. Also take a look at the way you’re using existing assets: could you, for example, use virtualization software to free up some dedicated systems for other uses?
What are noteworthy variances in unit pricing for similar products and how best can we close gaps and avoid costs?
When purchasing, do you keep an eye out for less expensive but functionally equivalent (and in some cases superior) options? In particular, consider cloud-based, SaaS services as budget-friendly, yet powerful, alternatives to onsite systems and software, which can often impose a higher TCO and are more subject to expensive downtime.