In 2018, the University of Otago has changed the way financial information is presented to an approach called RCM (Responsibility Centre Management). Under RCM, academic cost centres, schools and divisions are able to see all of their income and all of their expenses. Previously, the University used some income to cover some central and service division costs, so when cost centres or divisions saw specific ITS charges coming through each month (network and phone charges, for example), other ITS costs were being covered indirectly. From 2018, your share of all ITS costs is presented as a single figure in your January 2018 financials in the 6000 series of dissection codes. The actual charge is the same as the budgeted value, so there is no variance to report on.
Your share of ITS costs was calculated using a cost driver (a measure that estimates how demand for services arises across the University). After considering the types of services ITS provide, the Pro and Deputy Vice-Chancellors agreed that some ITS services related to students, some to staff, some to research, and some to a mixture of these, and that ITS costs should therefore be distributed to academic cost centres based on relative proportions of students, staff and research activity within the University. The cost driver used for ITS was 1/3 EFTs: 1/3 FTEs: 1/3 external research income (less sub-contracting). Therefore if a cost centre had:
- 10% of the total University EFTS
- 30% of the total University FTEs
- but only 5% of total University external research income
it would be charged:
- 10% of a third of ITS costs
- 30% of another third of ITS costs
- and 5% of the final third of ITS costs (or: (10+30+5)/3 = 15% overall).
The 2018 ITS budget is based on a similar level of demand for services as in 2017.
The ITS charge includes the costs of University-wide software licences, depreciation on IT assets, phones, network, equipment and corporate systems maintenance, resourcing costs, and so on. Depending on the function of your cost centre and the nature of IT services provided to you, you may also continue to receive some small or ad hoc ITS charges for the provision of specific services via traditional operating or capital expense dissection codes. For example, if you ask ITS to purchase specialised software for your research, ITS may recover the cost from you.
ITS staff will be monitoring demand to ensure that any increases relate to genuine need rather than the end of direct charging. Academic cost centres should continue to be responsible in their use of services, as though direct charging was still in place.
Please contact ITS if you need further information about ITS charging.