What Is IT Showback?

Apr 10, 2023

As technology becomes increasingly important in the modern business world, IT departments are under more pressure than ever to deliver results that meet business goals while controlling costs. One tool that IT managers can use to help them meet these demands is IT showback.

In this blog, we’ll define what IT showback is, discuss its benefits, and provide some tips for implementing it in your organization.

What is IT Showback?

IT showback is a process in which an IT department tracks and reports on the usage and cost of the services it provides to other departments within the same organization. The goal of IT showback is to increase transparency and accountability, allowing business leaders to understand the value of the IT services they are using and make more informed decisions about their budgets.

While IT showback is similar to IT chargeback, some key differences exist. With chargeback, IT departments charge other departments for the services they use to recover costs. With showback, IT departments are not necessarily trying to recover costs but rather to increase transparency and awareness of IT spending.

What are the Benefits of IT Showback?

Implementing IT showback in your organization can provide several benefits:

  • Increased transparency: By tracking and reporting on IT spending, showback provides greater transparency into how IT resources are used and the value they provide to the business.
  • Better decision-making: Armed with data on IT usage and costs, business leaders can make more informed decisions about allocating their budgets and prioritizing their IT investments.
  • Improved accountability: Showback helps create a culture of accountability, with IT departments and business leaders being held responsible for the resources they use and the results they achieve.
  • Cost optimization: By tracking usage and costs, IT showback can help identify opportunities for cost optimization, such as eliminating redundant or underutilized services.
  • Improved collaboration: By increasing transparency and accountability, IT showback can help foster better collaboration between IT and other departments, leading to more effective use of IT resources and better business outcomes.

Approach To Implementing IT Showback!

Implementing IT showback in your organization requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Define your objectives: Before implementing showback, it’s important to define your objectives and what you hope to achieve. This will help guide your approach and ensure that you are measuring the right metrics.
  • Identify the services to track: Determine which IT services you want to track and report on. This may include things like server usage, network bandwidth, software licenses, and help desk support.
  • Determine your reporting frequency: Decide how often you want to report on IT usage and costs. This may be monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your organization’s needs.
  • Choose your reporting method: Decide how you will report on IT usage and costs. This may involve creating custom reports in your IT service management system or using a third-party tool to track and report on usage.
  • Communicate with stakeholders: Be sure to communicate the benefits of showback to business leaders and other stakeholders and involve them in the process of defining metrics and objectives.
  • Monitor and adjust: Continuously monitor your showback metrics and adjust your reporting as needed. Use the data to identify opportunities for cost optimization and service improvement.

Finally, it’s worth noting that implementing IT showback is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. IT departments should regularly review their metrics, adjust their reporting methods, and communicate with stakeholders to meet business needs. By continuously improving their showback processes, IT departments can increase transparency, accountability, and collaboration, leading to better business outcomes and more efficient use of IT resources.

What are the best practices for IT Showback?

  • Choose the right metrics: Select metrics that align with business goals and outcomes to demonstrate the value that IT provides to the organization.
  • Communicate with stakeholders: Regularly communicate with business leaders and other departments to ensure that showback metrics are relevant and aligned with business needs.
  • Implement a robust reporting process: Establish a reporting process that is clear, consistent, and accessible to stakeholders, and make sure that reports are delivered on a regular basis.
  • Encourage collaboration: Use showback as an opportunity to collaborate with other departments and identify areas where IT resources can be optimized.
  • Continuously review and adjust metrics: Regularly review metrics and adjust them as business needs change, and ensure that the showback process is flexible enough to adapt to evolving business requirements.
  • Keep it simple: Use clear, concise language and avoid jargon to ensure that all stakeholders easily understand showback reports.
  • Use automation: Leverage automation tools to streamline the showback process, reduce errors, and save time.
  • Provide context: Include context around showback metrics, such as explaining why certain metrics are being tracked and how they align with business goals.
  • Foster accountability: Use showback to encourage accountability among IT staff, and hold individuals and teams responsible for their resource usage.
  • Continuously improve: Use feedback from stakeholders to continuously improve the showback process and ensure it meets business needs.