Information Technology Services

Revision of Desktop System Program


Phase 1 Revision of DSP Program (December 2007)

Information Technology Services has been examining the structure and financing of the DSP program, including underlying charges for network services. The original cost allocations behind the charges need to be examined and modified. The decline in hardware costs has been used to fund the expansion of costs in other support areas so that the overall budget envelope has not had to increase, but this has not been captured explicitly. As a result, there is a widespread but incorrect notion that the DSP should have excess funding generated from falling hardware costs.

The program also needs to be expanded to meet the original intent of the program, which is to provide DSP services to all full-time (defined as "benefit-eligible" or at least 75% full-time) employees. Almost all campus work now requires a computer and network access - even custodial and grounds employees may need access soon for updating new time and labor systems.

"Computers as a Service"

A more appropriate approach is to regard the DSP program as a bundle that includes hardware, support, network and network resources. That is, the hardware is only one (relatively small) component of an overall service that provides access to applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, email, Blackberry-like devices, etc.), support (helpdesk, configuration, hardware maintenance, etc.) and network resources (Internet, network file system, wireless, security, etc.) The screen that happens to sit on your desk or on your lap is really only the most visible "portal" to those services.

Thus, the DSP program is really a service that happens to have a component that replaces hardware and software regularly.

Phase 1: Pro-rata initial transfer

In keeping with the concept of "Computers as a Service," we have revised the way we currently handle fund transfers to support DSP.

Currently, in the first year of a new DSP slot, we ask for a "cost" transfer of $1630 regardless of the date the slot is requested. Subsequent years are funded through a "rate" transfer of $1630 (per year). This charging mechanism was set up originally in part because of the high cost of hardware in the early years of the program, and the first year cost transfer helped to offset the initial capital outlay.

In the new conception of DSP as a service, it is reasonable to pro-rate the first (cost) transfer. Thus, for example, if a slot is created in February, we would only charge a cost transfer of 1/3 of a year (4 months) or $543.33 for that fiscal year. We will only pro-rate to the nearest month, rounding to the nearest beginning of the month (for example, before January 15th, round down to January 1st and after January 16th round up to February 1). The pro-rating will be according to the date of receipt of the order, not the date of installation.