Service Costing Systems/Platforms like Magic Orange, Nicus, Apptio, and others in the industry provide powerful automation of data integration and transformation as well as modeling and reporting capabilities beyond what can be achieved with complex Excel solutions you may have built in house.
Although the manual inputs and processes of Excel are eliminated, there are still validations and operational processes that need to be in place to keep your Service Costing solution healthy and useful for business decision making. Too often executives get the impression that since there is a system in place, it will magically run by itself and the IT Finance staff will not have any service costing work to do. Even with a system in place, there will be data integration, data validation and model maintenance tasks that have to be performed for every reporting cycle. In addition, freeing the analysts from manual data entry and number crunching should shift their focus to real value add analysis and coordination with Service Portfolio Life cycle processes. If you are not prepared for these activities and find yourself understaffed, your system will quickly languish and lose value to the enterprise.
The staff you identify to deliver these processes after implementation should be involved with the actual implementation — where possible anyone with technical responsibilities should work side by side with the configuration team when your system is implemented. It is also not unusual to find that a shift from number crunching to real analytics means that what used to be an entry level position is now more appropriately a level or two more advanced. As you plan for operational staffing, be certain a capability assessment is part of your go forward plan.
Here is a cheat sheet of the ongoing processes and work that will be needed to keep your Service Costing model healthy and returning value:
Not ready to turn your staff loose on their own ? Check out our Post Implementation Support Packages.
Not sure if you have the staff skills needed to continue to grow? We discussed changing skill needs in another blog post.