Financial X-ray

Through detailed benchmarking against peers, compare and analyse the full cost of your IT services and improve efficiency or make the case for change.

The Financial X-ray helps IT departments to benchmark, understand and easily compare overall costs. It's a useful tool to build a business case for changes in IT infrastructure, and create an ongoing mechanism for dialogue between finance and IT departments. It can also provide a means of highlighting the comparative cost of shared and commercial third party services.

We took advice from the British University Finance Directors Group (BUFDG), Universities UK (UUK), and the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) to develop the Financial X-ray.

BUFDG connected us with several universities interested in gaining a better understanding of their IT costs. Some universities had been offered ‘return on investment calculators’ by their IT suppliers however these tools fail to reflect the position of research and education organisations.


  • Detailed statistics about your institution’s IT spend
  • An accountant will carry out much of the work so your staff are not burdened
  • Prompt service carried out in days rather than weeks
  • Access to statistics for other organisations to benchmark your spend against the sector
  • A final report for presentation to senior management.

Key features

The model can provide you with:

  • Detailed data including total IT costs as a percentage of annual turnover
  • Information on money spent on student-facing IT services per year
  • Costs to support bring your own device
  • Annual running costs of your data centre.

“The Financial x-ray was incredibly useful in pointing out some areas where we were not investing and possibly should be, and some areas where we were spending more than we would like to.”

David Conway, head of IT services, University of Sunderland

Find out more

Download the full terms and conditions for this service (pdf).

Contact us on 0300 300 2212 or to find out more.

Service level description


The financial X-ray service is available for a fee plus travel, hotel and subsistence expenses for this work. The fee is agreed in advance and based on the size of the institution as measured by annual income.

Please note that VAT is not chargeable on this service where the customer is inside the cost sharing group for VAT purposes.

Your responsibilities

The customer is required to help:

  • Identify staff who should be involved in the process from within the "central" IT function and outside in devolved departments where the delivery of IT exists
  • Arrange 1:1 meetings
  • Provide financial transaction data

The customer must sign the service order form and the terms and conditions form, which together forms the contract.


Organisations must ensure they understand and adhere to the Jisc security policy, a copy to be supplied on request.

Target availability

Provided upon request.

Request for service

Request this service via the Jisc service desk on 0300 300 2212, or via email to

Service delivery time

An initial response to any enquiry will be given within eight business hours, as defined in SLD definitions.

Terms and conditions

Both Jisc and client organisation must sign the service order form, which together with the terms and conditions, forms the contract as evidence of understanding and compliance.

Reviews and reporting

Jisc consultant will provide a detailed management report upon completion of the service. This will give insight into total cost per IT service, broken down into staff and non-staff cost and including peer benchmarking. Evaluation of root cause also provided, where known, of variances to peer average spend, along with key observations.


Please contact or

Technical section

For more information about the financial X-ray please contact or