A Deeper Look at the TBM Awards: Infrastructure Trailblazer

Blog Post created by tbmcouncil Employee on Feb 2, 2015

“Recognizing technology leaders who have leveraged infrastructure engineering for a new level of business results.”


Technology is changing the world as we know it and the challenge now is to not only keep up, but to get ahead. The infrastructure of yesterday is all but extinct today but a select few IT leaders have managed to not only get ahead of this dilemma, but blaze the trail while doing so. This award recognizes CTOs and/or SVPs of Infrastructure who have leveraged infrastructure engineering for a new level of business result, gracefully navigating this new age of technology as data analytics, cloud services and advancements in networking operations transform.


Elements that define successful Infrastructure Trailblazers include:

  • Migrated their business to cloud-based technologies in a meaningful way and/or successfully addressed the need to support mobility through changes to backend operations and architecture.
  • Successful, technical applications of virtualized desktops and other tools that change the entire user experience.
  • Made highly technical changes in their company’s IT architecture, resulting in major improvements in performance and profitability.
  • Developed an internal IT architecture practice to reduce complexity, eliminate redundancies, and end non-compliant IT spend – all in a measurable fashion.
  • Leveraged big data by addressing the complex problems of integrated data across multiple, disparate sources and platforms.


With a list of accolades as impressive as this, it should be clear that the organizations nominated for the Infrastructure Trailblazer Award are in a category all on their own. These three nominees are the shining example of how to distinguish imitator from innovator. Read on to find out why:


The Award Finalists


Mylan: As the second largest generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company in the world, Mylan undertook a global corporate restructuring effort over the last two years that moved the company from a regional management style to a centralized approach. The goal: double its $8 billion in revenues in the next five years; and triple it in the next ten. As part of the transformation, new leadership was brought on board, including a Global CIO, Michael Smith, who brought a different—trailblazing— mindset to what IT is all about, and he did it with TBM. Utilizing TBM, IT is providing cost transparency on all cloud-based systems for Mylan, ultimating resulting in transformative results. As the transition to the cloud continues, with TBM as the driver, Mylan is a leading infrastructure trailblazer due to its notable transparency and visibility initiatives.


AOL: Two years into a five-year transformation, AOL is currently changing their data center strategy in a massive way in parallel to implementing the TBM model. The goal: reduce technical debt, streamline operational costs and migrate out of legacy data centers. As part of this transformation effort, Technology Operations determined that it wanted to change the way that it interacts with the business by changing the discussion from a defensive standpoint – defending the ever-increasing costs of IT – to one that sheds light on business decisions that impact IT spend. When the company as a whole mandated a move to segment level reporting, IT Operations took its cue and began implementing TBM. Due to its already undeniable success, the TBM model is actively being considered for used for sales and other areas outside of the technical space.


Microsoft: The Cloud Infrastructure group at Microsoft embarked on its TBM journey nearly five years ago with a charter to manage cloud infrastructure costs – a mandate that could not be achieved without continual downward pressure on capital and operating expenses. The driver: create incentives for both the operators as well as the service teams to employ utilization and availability. Microsoft’s approach was to develop a system called the Business Management System (BMS) that allows the Cloud Infrastructure team to plan, design, implement, and operate cloud infrastructure cost management methodologies and processes using TBM methodologies. The results rolled in. They reduced 56 core systems to just a handful, removed redundancies between processes and tools, standardized hardware, created a convergence with software and more. All this momentum has produced strong feedback from stakeholders that the TBM approach has improved the planning, operational management and financial management disciplines.


The TBM Awards focus on organizations and leaders who have a keen focus on the TBM vision and best practices. Designed to highlight IT and finance leaders, this year’s nominees inspired the selection committee with their creativity, ingenuity, and overall contribution to TBM.


Find out more at the TBM Award page here! For our social media lovers, be sure to follow @TBMCouncil on Twitter and use the #TBMC14 and #Going2Miami hashtags for all conference updates!


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