Are you ready for some football?
It’s show time in Atlanta on February 5th for the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. Each team made it to Super Bowl LI primarily because of great talent; however, that’s not all that got them there. Coaching staff had to analyze opponents, develop strategies, practice techniques, and implement game plans throughout the season and playoffs to succeed. That’s what ultimately got them to the Big Game.
Much like successful football teams, Nicus approaches IT financial and business management using strategic, detailed, and analytical techniques. Not surprisingly, it’s a topic we often discuss during conference presentations and interactions with clients and prospects. Sometimes, we receive feedback or hear statements such as:
- “I think an 80% solution will be just fine”
- “I don’t have the time or resources to strategically assess and improve my IT financial management”
We understand that managing technology operations and finances are difficult, and that improving is almost never easy. Yet, we still believe that taking a strategic, detailed, and analytical approach is something that can help organizations improve their IT financial and business management tremendously. From what we’ve seen, there is still plenty that can be done in almost every organization.
The 80% Solution
Is an 80% solution acceptable? Consider the following examples that help illustrate what 80% really means:
- Four hours and 48 minutes of unsafe drinking water each day
- 19 hours and 12 minutes of electricity to run data centers each day
- One out of every five cars on the road without brakes
- Company’s year-end financial results only has 9 months of correct data
- Personal checking account register missing 6 days of transactions
The point of these examples is to illustrate that, although it may be difficult, when it comes to evaluating ITFM/ITBM tools and strategies, you should be aiming for the right solution. There will always be limitations and resource constraints. There will always be facets of an implementation where it is acceptable that data and/or calculations are directionally correct. The point is, if you start out accepting an 80% solution overall, you will probably wind up with far less than that.
You should attempt to find the right people, process, and technology to cover all the goals and priorities of your organization. Of course, there will be compromises, challenges, and frustrations along the way. The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots do not aim for “good enough” and neither should you from the beginning. You should always aim for what’s needed. You might be surprised at how many times that can be achieved when approached correctly.
A season for giving
It seems like the end of another year is cause for reflection. Many of us are lucky to spend the holidays surrounded by family and friends, enjoying feasts and treats in homes blessed with modern conveniences including heat, lights, and running water. We often take this for granted.
I can’t help but think about people near and dear to my heart – the resilient people of Haiti. It was one year ago that I was preparing for a mission trip there with Reiser Relief (www.reiserrelief.org) when I got a call that Nicus Software was making a generous donation to the Reiser Relief organization. Their mission is to provide relief, hope, and dignity to the most vulnerable people of Haiti. We all know Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but I was humbled by the incredible Haitian spirit despite their deplorable living conditions and lack of things we take for granted. Unfortunately, the vulnerabilities and needs are even bigger after they endured the wrath of Hurricane Matthew just two months ago.
I am encouraged by the continuous support from generous people and organizations, like Nicus, who open their heart to help those in need. If you would like more information about Nicus’ charitable campaigns, please visit: http://www.nicus.com/community.
Until next time,
Gartner IT Financial, Procurement & Asset Management Summit
IT practitioners gathered from around the world in Grapevine, TX on September 18-21, 2016 for three days of IT-related presentations, roundtable discussions, clinics, and workshops. These sessions were led by various industry authorities including Gartner analysts, industry experts, and senior business leaders. There was a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge shared during this event. As you know, Nicus Software is a leader in IT Financial Management (ITFM) so it’s no surprise that we were a premier sponsor at this year’s conference. We appreciated the opportunity to meet, share battle scars, and discuss hot topics with other IT finance practitioners.
One of the highlights from the event was the session titled “A Practitioner’s Framework for IT Financial Management” co-presented by Rob Mischianti from Nicus Software and David DuBois from BJ’s Wholesale Club. During the presentation, Rob and David shared their views on industry best practices by reviewing an ITFM framework that was developed by some of the best practitioners in the industry and provided a tactical roadmap for managing, executing, and maturing IT Finance operations. The very applicable thoughts, knowledge, and experience shared during this presentation were invaluable to all who attended. I especially appreciated the pragmatic and down-to-earth approach to the content of the discussion as well as the Q&A session that followed. A huge thanks to Rob and David for a wonderfully insightful presentation that represented the heart and soul of Nicus Software so well! Follow this link http://www.nicus.com/resources/detail/a-practitioners-framework-for-it-financial-management to learn more about the Nicus Software Practitioner’s Framework.
Nicus Software has helped companies around the world better manage their costs, particularly IT spend, for several years. More recently, we have been working hard to design and build more standardized modules within the M-PWR tool. The result of this effort is the four standard M-PWR modules: Planning (including Vendor Expense Management), Service Costing, Bill of IT, and Application TCO. We were thrilled to share this more comprehensive and innovative approach to ITFM with so many of the conference attendees. I’m very excited to think about the cutting-edge developments we will be sharing with conference attendees next year in Nashville, TN!
Until next time,
Several of our clients have used ITFM solutions from other vendors before making the switch to Nicus M-PWR. When one of our clients was testing their new cost model in M-PWR, they were surprised our model only took a couple of minutes to run. Their previous software package took anywhere from 13-16 hours to run! They had to limit data attributes to “improve performance,” which negatively impacted their reporting capabilities. The tool also required a technical team, within the software provider’s organization, to load the data and make changes to the model, which is not practical for an analyst that needs to turn around cost information quickly.
We often hear from clients that they chose Nicus for our practitioner’s approach. We’ve been in their shoes before and understand the need to drill into the details to make informed decisions. For these clients, M-PWR automates data collection and transformation so they can get back to value-add focused work. They shouldn’t have to cut down their data attributes to manage their model’s calculation time. We may also recommend changes to their cost model during implementation to avoid custom coding and make it easier for their staff to maintain.
Written by: Lauren Fulton, Sr. IT Finance Advisor
You can’t tell from the picture above but this year’s conference had somewhat of a ‘Saturday Night Live’ theme so I thought I would use another late night entertainment reference to share the highlights for those who missed it.
So, I present the “Top 10 things you missed from the Nicus Software 2016 IT Finance Conference” (drum roll please)…
#10 – Guest presenters: 6fusion sharing views of the future of IT Infrastructure and Thavron sharing thoughts on communicating with business partners.
#9 – Nicus’ own Randy F. getting his feet wet with his first “voice over” gig (a la Saturday Night Live).
#8 – BJ’s Wholesale Club sharing a conceptual vision for a Shared Services Financial Management (SSFM) solution, specifically a single number theory.
#7 – Everyone returning for Day 2 after a night of amazing food and cocktails (some were in better shape than others).
#6 – Various Nicus employees sharing information on M-PWR product development, Client Services, and the IT Planning, Cost Modeling, App TCO, and Bill of IT portals.
#5 – Staples inspiring everyone with their application of M-PWR to capitalize internal labor project costs.
#4 – Conference host Kristie S. poking fun at Nicus’ resident “foodie,” Rob M., with a HILARIOUS picture of a monkey (monkeys are cute, right?)
#3 – Learning about American National’s journey of implementing Service Costing, App TCO, and ABC Costing.
#2 – Optum sharing their exceptional use of M-PWR to provide project cost estimating.
And the number one thing you missed from the Nicus Software 2016 IT Finance Conference (another drum roll please)…
#1 – Everyone learned a lot about IT Finance over the two day conference and also had some fun along the way…
Thanks for another wonderful conference!!
Written by: Kristie Sullivan, Manager