As one of the United States’ leading financial services companies, this organization offers a sophisticated platform of technology, brokerage, and investment advisory services to thousands of financial advisors across the country.
They support their clients’ businesses with cutting-edge, integrated technology that simplifies clearing, compliance, and practice management: Enabling their clients to focus solely on their own customers is at the core of the company’s mission.
Although they excel at helping their clients reduce the complexity of running their businesses, the organization struggled with managing its own Asset Management strategy – a recurrent challenge for companies in the financial services industry. Today’s accelerated business climate for financial services organizations challenged this company to future-proof their operations and manage risk and regulatory obligations through achieving top-down visibility and increasing automation.
The Journey to a Future-proof Software Asset Management Strategy
Organizational siloes and a variety of methods to track software assets in the individual business units combined with an overall lack of accurate, real-time data meant the company was struggling to manage their software spend and ensure optimal utilization of their current software assets. Leadership knew that in order to continue to compete in a complex industry, they needed to develop a single, enterprise-wide solution for tracking and managing their software assets.
This company wasn’t an outlier. Many financial services organizations struggle with siloes and manual process done in email, spreadsheets, and phone calls. Because of this, it can take companies weeks or even months to gather all of the data needed for accurate reporting and regulatory audits.
To make life easier for their employees and regain trust in their Asset Management data, the firm set out to modernize their Asset Management strategy using ServiceNow.
They hoped to drive cost savings by:
- Improving visibility into current software asset inventory
- Optimizing process lifecycle
- Identifying and reclaiming infrequently used software titles
- Automating manual tasks wherever possible
In addition to saving on cost, our project with the firm also reduced risks by ensuring compliance and preparing for software audits and establishing (and enforcing) software blacklisting and standard software versions.
Enterprise-Wide Visibility Powered by ServiceNow
No stranger to ServiceNow, the organization was using the platform across its IT department. They had already invested in modernizing their IT Asset Management strategy and were using ServiceNow’s Software Asset Management (SAM) product, however work with a previous partner had left their instance highly customized.
They knew the platform had the potential to offer them a unified view of all of their software assets in one place and wanted to return to out-of-the-box (OOB) in order to scale their operations and pass audits effectively in the face of continuous regulatory change and industry scrutiny. The primary focus of this return to OOB was resetting ServiceNow Discover, which performs the “inventory” process in their Asset Management. Ensuring that Discovery was working correctly was a crucial part of populating their CMDB and making the Asset Data trustworthy.
To make this happen, Acorio joined the firm as a trusted ServiceNow Partner to bring the organization back to OOB and align to Asset Management best practices. Together, Acorio and the firm began a remediation and enhancement of their existing asset environment to derive more value and functionality from their SAM investment moving forward, allowing them to detect licenses and assets within the entire organization and to allow them to build reliable processes with the data in their CMDB.
Ensuring Business Continuity with a Solid CMDB Foundation
To advance the maturity of their ITAM strategy, Acorio and the firm looked to reduce prior customizations and move closer to OOB. They knew that by doing so, they would further advance the capabilities of the platform, reduce overall software spend, and mitigate risk associated with Asset Management.
Soon after starting the project, Acorio realized that the accuracy of the firm’s existing CMDB data could be greatly improved to help drive better project outcomes. An effort to reset Discovery to OOB was launched by repairing their foundational CMDB and transforming their business and establish scalability, accuracy, and efficiency as their new standard.
Deep Success Already Prompting Future Platform Expansions
This project successfully pulled the firm from a customized ServiceNow environment that didn’t generate accurate, trustworthy data on software assets, to one that is properly configured and keeping an accurate record of assets.
While customizations may have been appropriate at the time, many customers struggle to bring prior customizations “back-to-box” when new functionalities become native to the platform with upgrades. Returning to a non-customized and properly configured ServiceNow instance means a company is able to take advantage of ServiceNow platform upgrades for years to come.
The project was an absolute success by every measure of the word. Since deployment, defects and issues have been minimal and the organization’s internal team is extremely satisfied with their new SAM solution.
“Coming out of this, we will be light years from where we are today.” – Platform Owner
Since rolling out their new IT Asset Management solution, the organization has committed to continued advancements for their ITAM maturity. They intend to deepen the platform’s capabilities to reduce spend and mitigate risk even further.
What’s the next stop in their ServiceNow journey? The organization is now looking to complete a HAMPro project following the success of this project, and Acorio will be supporting them every step of the way.