At this year’s TBM Conference, just wrapping up today in Chicago, I have been impressed by the commitment of so many CIOs to running IT like a business and reaping maximum ROI from their technology investments. When I imagine myself in their shoes, I can clearly see the challenges. But I also know first-hand the opportunities of Technology Business Management (TBM). Scribbling on the back of a napkin, here’s how I explained it to a colleague at the conference (click to enlarge):
For starters, I would plot my TBM journey along six dimensions—technology, people, process, data, analytics and strategy—broken into two distinct phases. I would need to move quickly, aligning the steps below to a 12-month calendar. I would need to remain agile and be mindful of not getting lost in data. During the third phase, I would watch the hard work pay off.
Phase One – Design
- Technology: First, I would implement a foundational cost-transparency model, focusing on my organization’s internal IT costs. During the implementation, I would focus on mapping costs to the IT resource tower (ITRT) layer only, with emphasis on server, storage, network and end-user computing. Then, I would immediately implement TBM technology to enable automated benchmarking.
- People: I would interview key stakeholders in my organization – the real consumers and beneficiaries of cost transparency and TBM. I would ask them to identify their goals, and I would work with them to develop a plan to achieve them. This step helps align business-critical feedback to my organization’s broader enterprise strategy.
- Strategy: At this point, I would aggregate stakeholder feedback and develop appropriate TBM use cases. I would then assess and design how my TBM technology solution would support the use cases and further align it to broader, strategic IT and finance initiatives.
Phase Two – Execute
- Process: Next, I would create a dedicated TBM office, resourced and embedded within my organization’s performance management framework. The TBM office will scale based on the complexity of my use cases and my fiscal priorities.
- Analytics: I would then execute a high-level market insights benchmark study of my ITRT costs against ISG’s data and leading practices. I would do this just prior to the completion of my initial technology implementation for all ITRTs in the Apptio TBM Unified Model (ATUM) framework. I know the data in my model will not be perfect. What I’m specifically interested in knowing is:
- What is the market doing? What should I be doing?
- Where should I focus my data refinement initiatives?
- What is my strategy to cover my TBM investments?
- Strategy: Leveraging the output of my analytics, I can now track, monitor and measure returns along my TBM journey! In addition, I’ve now developed a plan that will engage key business stakeholders who will help drive adoption of the TBM program.
- Data: Data is an ongoing improvement opportunity, containing its own process methodology. In an effort to not get lost in cost-transparency data, I will rely on outputs from analytics and feedback from stakeholders as the baseline to prioritize data improvement opportunities. Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative assessments, I will track and monitor my TBM program to make sure it is supporting—and eventually driving—my organization’s broader strategic initiatives.
Phase three of the TBM journey is the phase of opportunity, in which the organization reaps the transformational benefits of increased visibility and improved communication between IT and the business.
How have you pursued your TBM journey? I’d like to hear about your experiences. Contact me to discuss further.
Alex-Paul works closely with enterprise leaders, IT finance managers and IT business unit leaders to help implement the discipline of Technology Business Management (TBM) into their organizations and optimize their enterprise IT. He advises both commercial and public sector organizations on the adoption of TBM programs, designs fact-based analytical strategies and supports broader IT transformation initiatives. His development of a strategic TBM multi-dimensional framework addressing people, process, data, analytics, technology and strategy is part of ISG’s industry-leading set of market best practices and methodologies. His thought leadership has been featured in CIO Review, MiddleMarket Executive and the TBM Council’s book The Four Value Conversations CIOs Must Have with Their Businesses.