In 2015, American Family Insurance (AmFam) launched a strategic initiative partnering Corporate Finance and Information Services divisions to improve IT intelligence and deliver better IT investment decisions. At the time, the AmFam team was logging extensive overtime, working nights and weekends to manage information requests from business partners and perform critical total cost of ownership (TCO) studies of existing applications. Consolidating Information Services (I/S) expenses in response to TCO requests was manual and time-consuming, preventing deeper analysis.
“A financial services resource would typically meet with multiple Information Services managers to understand the expenses, environment, application, etc.,” explained AmFam IT Financial Advisor, Jennifer Garcia. “We’d need to review contracts, pull vendor invoices and research other sources to get the date needed for each request.”
“If multiple years of information were required, it was an additional challenge to find expenses that moved accounts, cost centers, managers, vendors, as well as whether data was still available as far back as we were being asked to go. Typically, the turnaround time was weeks, and in some cases, months.”
- Multiple staff meetings and clarification emails
- Staff capacity to handle volume of requests
- Historical data availability
- Data consolidation
Goals of the strategic initiative:
- Increase IT cost transparency
- Understand service consumption
- Increase expense efficiency and financial controls
- Improve analytics and decision making
Following an extensive RFP process, AmFam selected Nicus Software to help manage IT financial data, institute IT cost transparency, and enable data-driven decision making. It was a game changer for the I/S department. They embraced the opportunity to provide quick and reliable data to stakeholders, shed light on IT cost misperceptions, and eliminate countless hours manually calculating costs and managing the backlog of requests.
Overall, the addition of the Nicus suite meant a great deal of new and accelerated functionality, including the ability to have reliable data delivered in a framework that would support the increasing volume of ITFM data requests. “Our business partners want to know what’s driving their profitability,” said Dan Strang, IT Financial Services Manager.
The TCO studies, which once involved weeks of discussion, multiple clarification requests, and countless meetings and emails, have been significantly streamlined. “What historically took weeks or even months, can sometimes be done in as little as an hour using Nicus,” noted Strang.
Since the Nicus implementation, AmFam has had the intel needed to quickly and accurately assess the long-term value and total cost of ownership associated to any specific technology. Today, line items such as software and infrastructure costs, user licenses, upgrades, and maintenance costs, can be evaluated individually or cumulatively to reveal TCO. “The information is all there in one spot, ready to grab,” explained Garcia. “It’s really helpful.”
To learn more about AmFam’s implementation of Nicus Software and how it has empowered their organization, read the full case study here.