As an IT leader, part of your job is looking beyond the status quo to take calculated risks that benefit your organization – to innovate and learn from the process. Unfortunately, you’re just as prone to fear of the unknown and aversion to risk as the next person. Which is why the 13th-century parable “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is still relevant today.
If you’re not confident in the ROI of an IT investment, then there’s a good chance you won’t move forward. Consider the transition from a manual spreadsheet to a purpose-built IT financial management (ITFM) solution. Roughly 90 percent of IT leaders, including IT finance, still rely on spreadsheets and makeshift solutions for tracking budgets, monitoring variances and running reports.
Because these tools are so labor-intensive and don’t provide a single source of truth, it can be difficult to take the right approach to the analysis – not to mention the time it takes to generate insights and take action.
It’s also easy to get so focused on the minutiae of the day-to-day that you lose sight of the big picture and miss out on easy wins, such as retiring zombie apps or leveraging second-tier storage in the cloud.
And when considering a purpose-built solution, it’s practically second nature to assume the time, money, and other costs of implementation will outweigh the return. But with a reasonable degree of caution and due diligence, you can start realizing the ROI of an ITFM solution right from the start.
Consider the following capabilities that add up to a tangible impact on the company’s bottom line.
Once an ITFM solution is in place you can use it immediately to analyze your existing IT costs, such as projects, vendor contracts, and labor. With the right analysis, you can gain insights on any redundancies and necessary actions to take that will help optimize your existing IT spend. You can also establish industry benchmarks to see how you compare with peers and generate actionable insights that identify where you can work with various business units to optimize IT spend and uncover savings opportunities.
“Historically we underspent on capital targets and missed opportunities for growth and innovation. With Apptio, our capital spend is now within 1% of target and we’ve returned $30M to the business. That represents millions of dollars in investment that would not have occurred.”
– Chrys Warren, IT Director, Micron
Clarity for the future
An ITFM solution can weave together the chaotic mass of labor, vendor, asset, project, and cloud costs from business units across the company. In return you get a big-picture view of IT spend all-up, making it easier to reconcile costs and create a cohesive strategy for moving forward.
“Corporate finance has so much more confidence in IT Finance and has given us the approval to move forward with these large transformation initiatives. We can easily fund projects that may not have been approved in the past”
– Linda Schmitz, Sr. Director of FPA, Caesars Entertainment
Decisive business posture
It’s critical that you’re able to create ad hoc plans for scenario analysis and to manage and compare them. With a singular view of the company’s portfolio, you can use what-if scenarios to improve your forecasting and make agile, data-driven decisions.
“We were spending 90% of our time aggregating data and 10% of our time analyzing it. With Apptio we can spend more time investigating variances and making recommendations to optimize spend.”
- Addison Page, Director of IT Financial Operations, Northwell Health
Purpose-built ITFM solutions eliminate the heavy lifting and repetition of a spreadsheet, giving you more time to optimize costs and identify your next investment opportunity.
Apptio’s Financial Management solutions help you analyze costs and align your IT spend with the needs of the business. And the new Insights & Actions Plans will use machine learning algorithms to look for anomalies or redundancies in your financial, operational, and vendor data. In addition to automatically alerting you about opportunities to reduce costs, increase productivity, reduce risks and improve the quality of your data, Apptio can help you create an action plan and manage progress against your goals.