Making IT Management Easier

Jan 5, 2006

Allen Bernard

For years, Kevin Kryzda watched and wondered: Why can't IT get the same day-to-day management tools as finance, supply chain, HR, manufacturing, fleet management, etc., etc.?

As an IT veteran, he's helped implement package after package designed to make the jobs of others easier and more efficient, yet IT was always the poor stepchild — often overlooked and neglected.

Well, today, as the CIO of Martin County, Fla., Kryzda is finally able to come full circle and implement those very same management tools; ones designed specifically for IT.

"This was the first holistic application that was commercially available that looked top down and side to side about the problem of IT management," said Kryzda.

Kryzda had discovered a new software package from ITM Software designed specifically to address the problems of managing IT. He tried it out and was sold.

ITM's Business Suite is composed of six integrated, browser-based modules—foundation, finance, project management, vendor management, governance, and HR—designed to bolt onto existing infrastructure.

No complex integration needs to be performed to start using the product since it works by taking metrics from existing applications and input from users to build a 10,000-foot view of the entire IT operation.

"The biggest benefit is being able to integrate the reporting and the management across all projects, about all resources," said Kryzda, who, before, relied on far-flung spreadsheets and the sneaker-net to keep track of who was doing what with what and when.

This was also the case for the Screen Actor's Guild - Producers Pension & Health Fund CIO and Executive Vice President Nadar Karimi. Karimi's organization, which handles pension and benefits for 40,000-plus people, relied on paper-based systems and binders of data to keep track of its vendors.

For Karimi, this was a big problem. Prior to implementing ITM's vendor management module over a year ago, people would leave and take their vendor information with them; if someone was on vacation there was no easy way to get information on the vendors they handled; and perhaps most frustrating, he would find out that contracts had either automatically renewed or expired after the fact because there was no automation to alert his staff of the impending deadline.

"You know, we'll find out from a vendor that the contract expired or it automatically renewed without any of us having an idea if we wanted to renew it or not," he said. "Now, anybody in IT that notices (something) has changed, goes to once place, does the update."

This same challenge (with a few modifications and twists and turns) also confronted David Fairbanks, CIO of super-computer maker SGI. Although, since ITM was founded by Ken Coleman and Steve O'Conner (both former SGI CIOs), Fairbanks was able to get an early start using the Business Suite.

Still, prior to ITM, Fairbanks was stuck in the same paper-based rut of many of his contemporaries—using a combination of homegrown and off-the -shelf applications and a mind-numbing, disjointed and out-of-time paper trail to keep track of IT.

Now, with ITM's Business Suite, Fairbanks has a much easier time of it.

"We've had seven restructurings now and reductions in force and the tool has been very helpful in guiding us as to what our demand is and reprioritizing in working with the business making sure were doing the right things first," he said.

While this is a plus for Fairbanks, the real benefit comes from on high, he said.

"For me it’s the integration of the components; the ability to see my holistic set of assets; the way my assets are being used; the proposals to change those assets or to integrate or use them differently … and really having one place where I can go, and the business can go, to see what's going on in the IT landscape."


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