Service to save users benchmarking cost

The Infrastructure Forum (Tif) has announced a benchmarking service for businesses that, it claims, can cut costs incurred by...

The Infrastructure Forum (Tif) has announced a benchmarking service for businesses that, it claims, can cut costs incurred by traditional methods by 75%.

Antony Adshead

The Tif service identifies how clients can take advantage of best practice by identifying their metrics and comparing them with other Tif members, which include more than one third of FTSE top 100 companies.

According to Tif, the Benchmarking Costs and Metrics service is based on "practical" and "solution-led" methods, rather than the "problem-oriented" services of traditional consultants' methods. Tif members are able to benefit from cost savings largely because it offers "self-service" benchmarking.

The new service provides an attractive alternative to external consultancy, said Bob Marsh, head of IT services at Friends Provident which has piloted the new Tif scheme.

"Traditional benchmarking has been done by an external organisation which comes in and analyses your data. In this [new method] data is self-collected and can then be compared with all Tif members or against those in the same sector. And time is saved because the questions have been formulated simply," said Marsh.

Neil Ward-Dutton, an analyst with Ovum, said the service could provide a good complement to that offered by consulting companies.

"The Tif service seems to offer a sales-free environment and highlights a trend of businesses becoming more savvy, not wanting to swallow what is presented to them.

"The zeitgeist is for consultancies to operate with a large agenda and tell companies that they need business process re-engineering before IT is tackled. This service allows businesses to measure themselves against those in their sector on specific implementation issues," said Ward-Dutton.

Tif offers the service for a flat fee of £9,000 to members. Six areas of IT expenditure are examined: staff numbers, overall IT costs, desktop hardware and software, networks/telecommunications, and application development and datacentre operations. The cost to join Tif is about £4,000.

This was last published in March 2001

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