Managing the Business of IT


IT is under mounting pressure to demonstrate the value of its services, optimize cost and enable new or different business outcomes through innovation – often even requiring IT to self-fund the innovation. This means the CIO must focus on managing the business of IT and the CFO of IT must support the strategic financial management of IT.

Recognizing the growing need for a CFO of IT role, the TBM Council has established a CFO of IT workgroup to develop a CFO of IT Competency model, outlined in the graphic below. While organizations may or may not choose to create a single position with the title CFO of IT, they must quickly realize that the success of managing the business IT relies on fulfilling these roles somewhere in the organization. Large IT organizations are finding that the CFO of IT role is critical to effectively coordinating the activities across the model.


As part of ISG’s alliance partnership with the TBM Council, we sponsor the CFO of IT Workgroup, which focused on updating the CFO of IT Competency Model in 2017, resulting in the release of version 2.0. You can read the whitepaper highlighting the effort and outcome here.

Several themes emerged throughout the year and in conversations at the workgroup meeting at the TBM Conference in Las Vegas last November. The model highlights the fact that effectiveness in fulfilling the roles requires clear and consistent communication, proper training and talent management, and an ongoing focus on improving data.

At the workgroup meeting, we surveyed participants on their organizations maturity of each of the roles in the competency model.  The survey results reflect the disparity with which these roles are filled in different organizations. As you might expect, many organizations find that certain roles are more mature, namely the Tech Controller, while other roles like the Agent of Change and Cost Optimizer are less likely to be staffed and therefore are less mature.  IT organizations that want to optimize their “Run The Business” cost need to think more deliberately about how they can fill the role of Cost Optimizer and find funding for innovation that will lead to the need for an Agent of Change.

We are ramping up our effort in 2018 to further build out the details of how IT finance professionals can develop these competencies in their organizations. The workgroup is open to TBM Council members.

Read the TBM Council CFO of IT Workgroup Executive Brief Evolving the CFO of IT Competency Model or contact us to discuss TBM and how ISG can help your organization manage the business of IT.