Getting boardroom buy-in

Organizations that enjoy multimillion-dollar savings through the operational efficiencies gained by using asset management and portfolio management tools say they can't imagine how they worked without it. But they agree that getting boardroom buy-in was a tough sell. To business leaders, such software is not used to generate revenue, so why would they be interested? There are ways to educate your bosses otherwise.

Tony Dornbusch, manager of asset management for the IT services group of health insurance provider The Regence Group, spent two years getting approval for Computer Associates' Argis Potfolio Asset Management software from executive management, and a year getting the owners of the assets - the networking and hardware groups - to understand the benefits. 

As the result of multiple mergers, Regence of Portland, Ore., has IT resources in 38 offices scattered across four states, but had no efficient way of tracking the pieces.  Dornbusch's team wanted software that would give it a better view of the resources. "We were crying out for it but no one understood what asset management meant," Dornbusch explains.

The deciding factor was a proof-of-concept project. Regence wanted to outsource a part of its IT function, and Dornbusch used Argis to help the company pinpoint which IT equipment would be involved, which could be sold to the outsourcer, and which would still be the responsibility of Regence to maintain.

Regence, which decided to implement asset management across the organization in March 2004, is still running this project and anticipates savings of $50,000, in part by selling off some assets and taking them off the property tax and insurance lists.

The assets' owners learned what asset management could do for them the hard way when they had to return 3,000 leased PCs. As there was no visible reliable desktop inventory the PC group had to hire someone to visit all the offices and to physically identity which PCs were leased or owned, and where they were located. The project ran for six months and Dornbusch says the use of asset management could have trimmed six weeks off the time.

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