Whether your organization is investing in a network documentation system, or a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system (or something similar), chances are that, to secure funding for purchasing the software, you may need a certain level of approval.

While it may seem painfully obvious to you as to why operations will run a lot smoother in the data center or networking group, your CFO or someone in finance may still want to get further justification as to why an expensive product such as DCIM is even needed (beyond the geeky technical details or abstract pronouncements)…and, frankly, the CFO may have a point. They naturally want to talk about calculating some return on investment on the software to be purchased.

Now, if you’re working as an engineer or maybe in the network operation center or you’re dealing with day-to-day issues related to your cabling or data centers, the idea of researching the return investment on a software purchase may seem like a daunting task — and maybe a bit boring. Don’t stress: we’ve got you covered.

If you’re looking to implement a network documentation and mapping tool such as netTerrain Logical or a Data Center Infrastructure System such as netTerrain DCIM, this blog series will help you untangle some of the ROI nuances that may help you secure funding so you can get software that will ensure smoother operations for your organization.

Getting started

To figure out the return investment on the software, you’ve got to know which IT documentation product you’re going to purchase (for our software, for example, do you need netTerrain DCIM or netTerrain Logical?). In a general sense, the savings from a DCIM software package are somewhat similar to the ones realized from a network mapping or fiber plant documentation software. These savings are related to the improved visibility and utilization of your IT assets, an increase in the uptime by reducing meantime to repair (MTTR), optimized space utilization and other savings that more specific to the product you’re buying.

While not all areas of improvement listed here are necessarily applicable to your case — for example: perhaps the savings from rack utilization won’t apply to you, but you may be suffering from excessive downtimes in which case your potential savings are still related to that area.

Once you know which specific IT documentation product you need, and which major areas you are hoping to improve (based on your current pain points), you can dive into the calculations for the potential savings stemming from the specific improved operations related to your IT infrastructure.

Identifying potential savings from IT documentation software

In this blog series, you’ll learn how you can calculate ROI for either data center infrastructure management and for network mapping/documentation ( fiber and outside plant is really just a special case of network documentation, so most likely, some of the same conclusions around the ROI for network documentation apply to outside plant software as well).

For each of the two situations you may be in, either DCIM or network mapping/documentation, we’ll look at the two main causes of inefficiency, how to address them with software like netTerrain (and we’ll use netTerrain as an example), and how addressing your inefficiencies leads to big savings that you can measure on an annual basis and easily estimate the return of investment.

Coming up, in in part two of this ROI blog series, we will first analyze the return on investment associated with a network documentation or network mapping software such netTerrain Logical. In part 3, we’ll go over a numerical calculation of part 2 and finally in parts 4 and 5 we’ll do the same for DCIM.

About Jan Durnhofer

As CEO / Product and Engineering Manager, Jan joined Graphical Networks with the purpose of creating the most advanced DCIM and IT visualization company in the market.