Inderscience Publishers

The dialectic of IT chargeback systems

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Many organisations have adopted chargeback systems whereby users are charged for the IT resources which they use. The purpose is to control the costs of information technology. Chargeback systems have recently received a resurgence of interest with the rapid change in IT. Many writers are currently advocating chargeback systems to control the escalating costs. Chargeback systems are expected to increase user awareness of IT costs, and thereby, improve decision-making and effectiveness of Information Technology. Many organisations have never adopted chargeback systems. They have used other management techniques for controlling IT costs. Chargeback systems have been controversial since the earliest computer applications. The current environment has added new issues which have provoked discussion. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of chargeback systems. The emphasis is on new issues which have arisen due to the changing technological environment. The dimensions which frame the discussion are the evolving empowerment of users, complexity of systems, and the cost structure. Recommendations are made for effectively using chargeback systems alternatives.

Keywords: IT management, IT costs, chargeback systems, systems complexity, IT control

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