Crap Factoid Alert: CMDB savings of more than $1 million per year
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This is a CATEGORY 1 Crap Factoid alert from Chokey the Chimp at the IT Skeptic's Crap Factoid Warning Service. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Be on EXTREME danger alert for CF "CMDB savings of more than $1 million per year". BMC and Forrester are shovelling it. [Update: the IT Skeptic's own assessment of the numbers here.]
[Updated June 2009: the paper, entitled "The Total Economic Impact of the BMC Atrium CMDB Solution" is here.]
This Crap Factoid has all the attributes of a very severe one
- "millions dollars save"
- well known analyst [Forrester. Just be grateful it wasn't Gartner or Chokey would be recommending evacuation]
Most readers and quoters of this paper will overlook the fact that it is commissioned by a vendor of CMDBs (BMC), and that the sample is 26 clients "provided by BMC":
a Forrester representative conducted in-person, roundtable interviews with 35 key individuals (e.g., IT directors/managers or more senior representatives) from 26 organizations to better understand the value of the BMC Atrium CMDB. Seventy
percent of the interviewed organizations had been using the BMC Atrium CMDB for seven to 30 months; 30% had been using it for six months or less.
The IT Skeptic has blogged before about the validity of asking the decision-makers "just how much have you saved on your investment in this technology?" and calling that research.
But there is worse hidden in the paper. The million-dollar number being crowed about is "the net present value (NPV) of savings the sample composite organization realized over a three-year period" yet the organisations interviewed had been using the tool for a maximum of 30 months, so this number has to be projected not actual dollars. [A bean-counter among you might like to comment on the validity of a discount rate of 12% to calculate PV and NPV - seems high to me].
We also know it is a projection because the figure being trumpeted is a "best case" and the "risk adjusted" figure is less than a million which won't cause anywhere near the same excitement (marketers need the m-word).
And the figure is over three years but is already being quoted as per year.
The crap gets even deeper when you look at the costs: $263k over three years. A hundred k a year to install, configure and populate and maintain a CMDB? **** off! The only in-house costs is "12 senior IT and business stakeholders spending 33% of their time over three months planning the implementation".
Then there is $100k for BMC to do "design, discovery, and population of CIs". In an existing BMC environment.
No money for integration/federation/reconciliation. No money for processes. No money for staff training other than the ITIL sheep-dip. No money for ongoing ownership or maintenance.
But it gets worse. Take a close look in the paper at page 12: license costs ZERO because they got the CMDB with the cornflakes of their much larger investment in BMC tools. This is at the very least obfuscation and possibly worse. How many readers think this is a fair presentation of the costs of the CMDB?
The icing on the crap-cake is the suggestion that "the BMC Atrium CMDB could facilitate and accelerate the adoption of ITIL standards". BMC just can't resist this silver-bullet, technology-fix-to-a-process-problem bullshit that they have peddled before.
I'm appalled that any company that considers itself a fair trader can produce this bull. And I'll be shocked by any BMC employee who looks me in the eye and quotes it.
Despite all that, this CF is going to spread widely and do serious damage. Be aware.