HomeStreet Bank, a state savings bank in Seattle, said it is tightening its management of technology assets and improving its return on investment by using an outside service to aggregate information from its disparate systems.
"We try to be very disciplined about what we spend our money on," said Mark Gregory, the $2.8 billion-asset HomeStreet's chief information officer, in an interview last month. "Is it addressing a pain point? Is it advances our capabilities in a way that differentiates us?"
HomeStreet is using the aggregated data in its monthly operational reviews, Mr. Gregory said.
The service, provided by the two-year-old vendor Apptio Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., automatically compiles financial data that the staff had collected manually in the past, said Mr. Gregory, who joined HomeStreet 18 months ago after 17 years at a Fortune 500 insurer, where he served as vice president of infrastructure.
"I don't think there were other tools available to address the issues we had at hand," he said.
Eric Berg, the vice president of product management and marketing at Apptio, said its service employs a small client application that resides within the customer's corporate firewall. The application aggregates data from places like a company's general ledger, corporate asset management systems, and trouble shooting reports from the help desk.
The information is sent securely to Apptio's hosted system, which analyzes cost and utilization data and provides service-level information, benchmarking compared to other Apptio users, and "what if" analysis for decision makers, Mr. Berg said.
The service also provides financial information back to the general ledger and reports to various lines of business, to help managers monitor technology expenses within their own units, Mr. Berg said. "CIOs are interested in getting a handle on what the costs are in my environment. What can I do to get a better handle on my costs?"
Mr. Gregory said the service has allowed HomeStreet to become more disciplined about the management of technology assets.
"We have accountability in IT like any other business," he said. "We don't enter into a project unless we are sure there is a payback."