Since 9/11, things have picked up again and RC is on track this year to meet or beat its projected 2001 performance. Again, Niku is playing a pivotal role.
The ability to track and managed IT projects, requests and resources via one product suite allows Shapiro and his team of portfolio and project managers to, once again, logically and systematically allocate to, and perhaps more importantly, share resources between competing projects and priorities.
But Niku doesn’t do it all. RC also uses Remedy’s infrastructure and application management software to see how well the company’s IT systems are functioning and where trouble spots exist. Combining this data with Niku’s portfolio/project management functionality gives Shapiro a clear view into how well things are working and what projects are on track, waiting to be approved or just plain dead.
“Between the two of them we’ve got a fairly good handle on the products suite, how they interrelate and what the TCOs are,” he said. “Niku’s a magnifying glass. It’s going to show you all the stuff in the supply side and all the stuff in the demand side, and if it’s out of balance, its going to show it out of balance. You couldn’t do it with spreadsheets.”
There are a couple of drawbacks with the product, however. One, poorly written training materials, is fairly minor and being worked on by the company, said Shapiro. The other is getting people to use the system. Leading a horse to water, as they say, is the easy part. But, in order for the product to work effectively, everyone has to buy in and this takes time and effort.
“[I]f you forced me say what’s the weakest point of this right now, it’s the human end of it,” he said. “It’s getting people trained and understanding they can’t do business on spreadsheets anymore.”
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