Total transparency of IT costs is achievable

Johannesburg, 17 Feb 2021
Read time 3min 30sec

A leading pan-African financial services group is benefiting from complete visibility into its IT costs, dramatically reduced IT budget cycle times and detailed reporting following implementation of the MagicOrange cost transparency solution.

This financial services company operates in more than 20 African countries, offering asset management, investment, insurance and health products to 3.2 million people across the African continent. The organisation had embarked on a cost transparency journey and developed a good basis for allocating IT costs. The model, however, originally ran in Excel, making it inefficient, time-consuming, slow and unstable.

The cumbersome system could take up to an hour to update and was unable to generate reports. Retrieving information involved pulling figures together from a number of spreadsheets and this intensive number-crunching consumed valuable resources. Excel did not allow for any holistic total cost of ownership (TCO) information, nor could it hold granular information to inform decision-making. All this made it extremely difficult for IT to answer questions about cost allocations.

The customer required an effective yet easy-to-use system to house its cost allocation model. It also needed integrated analytics and reporting to understand and manage costs, as well as their drivers.

After going out to tender, this financial services company chose the MagicOrange cost transparency solution.

“As a top player in the financial industry, our customer understood the importance of gaining full visibility into its current costs with a view to grow profitability and the value of its business going forward,” notes Greg Guye, CEO at Magic Orange.

“When dependent on Excel, the IT budget cycle typically took three months of customers' manpower, but after only two weeks, we were able to show a first version of the budget,” notes principal consultant at Magic Orange Theshni Naidoo. “We demonstrated not only the speed of the system, but also its ability to provide critical, detailed views of costs from an IT perspective.”

Following the set-up and training, the customer ran its new cost model on their own, with guidance from Magic Orange teams when required.

The organisation is now reaping the rewards of an automated, secure, robust cloud-based cost allocation solution. These include far greater efficiency and simple, easy-to-use reports. Taking advantage of the benefits offered by the cloud, this financial services expert now has the power to make changes as and when necessary.

“Automation and the power of the MagicOrange system have made the update process quick and easy,” comments Naidoo.

The financial services group is also benefiting from freed-up human and technology resources as the number-crunching is now handled in the cloud.

The organisation can build up a total cost of ownership (TCO) view, which it was unable to do using Excel because of its limitations around cross-charging and circular references.

Business units are using MagicOrange to obtain detailed data about their IT costs. They can log in at any time to see exactly how their IT bills are made up, as well as the drivers behind these allocations.This transparent view into what they consume enables them to optimise costs and spot trends.

Benefits for the IT department include understanding the total cost of providing products and services, including the people and infrastructure elements.

“In today’s uncertain world, businesses are more than ever focused on optimising costs, and MagicOrange gives them the tool to do this,” notes Naidoo. “You can only manage what you can understand and measure.”

“This important financial services group joins a long line of satisfied financial services customers of ours,” concludes Guye. “MagicOrange is gaining momentum as a solution of choice for all IT financial management (ITFM) needs by large international clients. Our team of consultants has an excellent track record for delivering outstanding results in assisting our customers to ultimately increase the value of their business.”

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Magic Orange Petra Batho