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By Alex Manders, ISG, TBM Practice Lead, Americas


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.




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.


By Ali Kramer

The Technology Business Management (TBM) Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting best practices for managing IT like a business, today announced AOL, eBay, The Clorox Company, Fannie Mae, and Cox Enterprises as winners of the third-annual TBM Awards. Each organization was recognized during an awards gala at Chicago's historic Field Museum during the 2015 TBM Conference. The TBM Awards acknowledge IT leaders who effectively use data to guide business consumption and investment, plan accurately and efficiently, optimize resources for value, and transform to service-oriented business models.

This year's TBM award winners were chosen by a selection committee comprised of industry-leading executives, consultants and academics. According to George Westerman, MIT Research Scientist and selection committee member, "With TBM, IT leaders are empowered to act as strategic business partners driving their organizations forward through innovation and competitive differentiation. This year's TBM Award winners are re-engineering the way IT is run."

These award recipients were recognized across five categories for the outcomes they drove with technology business data and processes to better understand and communicate IT costs, plan efficiently, optimize investments and transform their IT businesses.

The 2015 Award Winners

Business Innovation Award: AOL Shifts to Cloud-First Strategy

To help its media properties like Huffington Post and TechCrunch innovate faster and more profitably, AOL used its cost and performance model to determine it should embrace public cloud.  It has already retired 14,000 servers, sold off a data center and lowered its carbon footprint by 42 percent.  Deep understanding of its service costs, capacity and performance was also a critical factor in AOL's decision to acquire the majority of Microsoft's advertising business this summer.

Infrastructure Trailblazer Award: eBay Merges and Spins off PayPal Infrastructure

For 15 months eBay made data-driven decisions to integrate eBay and PayPal infrastructures into a single digital engine running $260 billion of commerce.  Using data about cost, capacity and performance they cut through "religious debates" to standardize on the best services each had to offer and rework supplier agreements, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in new efficiencies.  Following the announcement of PayPal's split off, they were given just nine months to separate the companies. Using their cost and KPI model they were able to accelerate planning and execution to meet deadlines for SEC filings and numerous agreements, all while keeping their infrastructure humming during the holiday season.

CFO of IT Award: The Clorox Company Doubles Planning Accuracy

Clorox uses TBM methodologies and their TBM system to integrate and automate their previously fragmented IT planning processes. By almost doubling the accuracy and increasing the detail of its IT spending forecasts, Clorox saved 7 percent on a major outsourcing contract, allowing the organization to free up 80 man-hours each quarter and quickly identify unspent funds so they could be redirected to innovation projects.

IT Services Transformation Award: Fannie Mae Connects Technology to Business Costs

In a bid to build the next generation of home financing infrastructure, Fannie Mae uses TBM to understand not only technology costs, but also the business operation cost and time efficiency. The company is shaping investment in technology and operations with models that allow business users to explore the total costs and connections between applications, business operations and business capabilities – such as turning a pool of loans into a mortgage-backed security.

TBM Champion Award: Cox Links Project Planning, Run Costs and Cloud Use Across Companies

Cox Enterprises is a group of privately-held companies that have all independently chosen to adopt TBM.  Each runs its own TBM systems that interconnect using cost model standards to expose opportunities for group efficiencies as well as inter-company benchmarking to learn from each other.  To help the business avoid later surprises and ensure IT is adequately funded, Cox Enterprises infuses its project funding process with a review of expected five-year run costs based on its service cost model.  In its own TBM program, Cox Automotive uses its standard cost model to quickly see how to best integrate the technology of companies it acquires, identify opportunities for consolidation such as labor contracts and communications carriers and manage its consumption of public cloud services.

"As TBM becomes more mainstream, it's even more important that we celebrate mastery within the IT profession. This year's award winners have proved to be some of the most inspiring leaders and organizations adopting TBM best practices to date," said Chris Pick; President, TBM Council and CMO, Apptio.

In the last year, the TBM Council has increased its membership base by more than 40 percent, growing to include more than 1,700 of the world's most innovative individuals in IT, who are all committed to managing IT with business discipline. TBM Council membership is open to any qualified IT, finance or business leader and TBM practitioners who meet the applicable membership standards. For more information or to join the TBM Council, please visit

About the TBM Council
The Technology Business Management (TBM) Council is a nonprofit business entity focused on the development of a definitive framework for running technology organizations like a business. It is governed by an independent board of IT leaders from a diverse group of the world's most innovative companies like Cisco Systems, DuPont, ExxonMobil, First American, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Nike, WorleyParsons, Apptio, and more. The TBM Council's mission is to serve its members by delivering on key mandates of collaboration, standardization, and education. To learn more about the TBM Council, visit:

By Chris Pick, President, TBM Council


When we founded the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council in 2012, I saw a need to promote standards and best practices that could empower IT executives. IT rarely has the flash or fanfare of other organizations; however, it sets the foundation for innovation. Communicating the business value of IT is imperative to success and growth. Since inception, the vision of TBM Council has spread like wildfire and we now support over 1,700 IT leaders.

Sharing in our vision and joining us at the TBM Conference as a sponsor is Apcera. Apcera is a trusted cloud application platform founded by Derek Collison (former executive at Cloud Foundry, VMware, TIBCO, Google). Many organizations face a critical tradeoff: innovate faster with potential security concerns, or limit innovation by prioritizing security. Apcera challenges the notion that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The Apcera Platform is designed to Deploy, Orchestrate and Govern all workloads (including cloud native and legacy applications) on and across all cloud environments. Leveraging Apcera helps companies receive the benefits of modern technology without the pain of managing complex infrastructure. In short, the Apcera Platform bridges the gap and helps organizations innovate at speed with full confidence and trust.

One of the Council’s core pieces of work, the TBM unified model, standardizes the financial information necessary for IT leaders to transform to a services-led business. When working together, the Apcera Platform enables IT to govern and manage these resources.

Not only is Apcera a sponsor this year, they are also participating in the Shark Tank: IT Investment Pitch Off! at the TBM Conference on Wednesday, October 28th. You’ll see exactly how the Apcera Platform stacks up against our metrics to evaluate new investments. Attend and see, first hand, how Apcera works and how it is rated against Cost-for Performance, Business-Aligned Portfolio, Investment in Innovation and Enterprise Agility. It will prove to be an informative and entertaining event for all.

We are very excited to partner with Apcera and know that their presence at the TBM Conference will bring new ideas and discussions to our members.

By Nathan Lockwood


Disruptive innovation. You’ve probably heard that term before, but have you ever wondered what it actually means?


Clayton Christensen, professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, coined the term in 1997. It’s defined as an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network over time, displacing an earlier technology. This term in used in business and technology to describe a business that is able to improve a product or service in a way that the market doesn’t expect.


We are excited to announce that the CEOs from three of the most disruptive companies in tech will be sitting together on a panel at the TBM Conference 2015!


Join us on Oct. 27 at 1:15pm for our mainstage presentation of:


CEO Perspectives: Disruptions in Enterprise IT

Cloud, big data, bi-modal IT, shadow IT – the list of technology innovations and methodologies goes on and on, and once you think you know the options – another new technical innovation is born. What does this ever changing technology landscape really mean to the IT leaders of today’s enterprise organizations? Is conventional enterprise IT dead because it can’t change? Or perhaps can’t change fast enough to meet the demands of today’s business climate? Surely some things remain the same… or do they? And should they? In this special keynote discussion, three of the most innovative CEO’s who also happen to be the cofounders of their own “disruptive” companies, discuss the new reality facing IT leaders today and how it is that disruption is leading us all across the chasm.



Aaron Levie

CEO, Cofounder & Chairman, Box

Chief Executive Officer, Cofounder and Chairman at Box, which he launched in 2005 with CFO and cofounder, Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind Box’s product and platform strategy, which focuses on incorporating the best of secure content collaboration with an intuitive user experience suited to the way people work today. Aaron leads the company in its mission to transform the way people and businesses work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. He has served as a member of Box’s board of directors since April 2005.


Sunny Gupta

Co-Founder & CEO, Apptio

Sunny is the co-founder and CEO of Apptio, responsible for company vision, strategic direction, planning and execution. Sunny's enterprise software career spans more than 20 years with roles in general management, strategic marketing, product management and business development. Before founding Apptio, Sunny was Executive VP of Products at Opsware and was responsible for all of Opsware product businesses up to its acquisition by HP for over $1.6 billion.


Steve Singh

CEO, Concur Technologies, Inc., & Member of the Global Managing Board of SAP SE


Steve Singh is CEO of Concur Technologies, Inc., and a member of the Global Managing Board of SAP SE. He has served as CEO of Concur since 1996 and was named to the Global Managing Board of SAP SE in January 2015. Under Singh’s leadership, Concur has become the leader of the multi-billion-dollar market for travel and expense (T&E) management solutions. Singh and Concur have garnered a wide range of recognition, both within the corporate travel industry and throughout the broader technology community. In December 2014 Concur was acquired by SAP, extending the SAP business network with leading cloud-based solutions for innovative and effortless T&E management.



Don’t forget to checkout our agenda and see the rest of our amazing panels at the TBM Conference 2015.

By Valerie Gilmore


The Technology Business Management (TBM) Council Board of Directors invites you to join our member on-boarding meeting on October 14 at 9:00 am PT. In this 60-minute discussion led by TBM Council President Chris Pick, we will outline the mission of our professional organization, describe our member services and explain how to best to network within our community of 1,800+ transformational IT leaders.

Attend this upcoming webinar where you’ll learn how to:

Core Topics Include:


  • Our Mission
    • Nonprofit Business Goals
    • 2015 Investment Areas (Mandates)
    • Membership and Proficiency


  • Education Services
    • The TBM Framework and Book
    • Industry Best Practices and Competencies
    • Curriculum and Certification


  • Standards Development 
    • Unified IT Operating Model/Metrics
    • Managed/Cloud Services Provider Billing Interface
    • U.S. Federal IT COST Commission


  • Collaboration Channels 
    • Conference and Summits
    • Peer-to-Peer Workgroups
    • Virtual Community (“TBM Connect”)


Like our other 1,800+ members, our goal is to ensure that you receive value and know how to contribute to our community.

Please follow the link for more information and to register for the meeting:


This virtual meeting is hosted by the TBM Council, with support from KPMG (Market Advisor) and Apptio (Technical Advisor).

The following post was written by Ralph Laura, CIO, HP Enterprise Group, Global Sales, HP Labs and originally published in the HP Infrastructure Insights blog.




My youngest daughter recently “refactored” her bedroom. I would say she cleaned it, but this was far more than a cleaning, even of the “seasonal” variety.  As she moved from young girl to teenager she felt it was time to perform a wardrobe, desk, accessories and treasured artifacts review, and restructure her belongings and bedroom to better match her evolving personality and preferences.  She was shocked how much room there was (and how big the donate or discard pile in the hall grew) as she went through this process.


Similarly, no IT organization sets out to have thousands of applications in their environment.  Every app had a purpose - at some point, or it wouldn’t be in the datacenter.  The go-to solution for IT to address a specific business need or deliver a crucial outcome is often to purchase or develop a new application.  But without proper stewardship, an ecosystem can become cluttered with the accumulated layers of prior behaviors and preferences.  I’ve often heard this referred to as ‘IT debt’ or the ‘IT tax’ in an organization. 


Anyone who has spent time in an IT department has seen how application, device, storage, etc. sprawl can drain an operations and support budget, so why do we continue to repeat the pattern over ...


               [Unchecked PC proliferation, followed by PC lifecycle management solution deployments]

and over ...

[Unchecked mobile phone proliferation, followed by MDM and later EDM solution deployments]

and over ...

[Unchecked use of non-enterprise cloud services, followed by deployment of cloud access security brokers]

and over…


The common thread in most of these is that at the initial scale these solutions all seemed harmlessly cute and furry in small numbers (like our friends the Tribbles), but as they multiply they can overwhelm the resources of the enterprise (in both the general and the starship context!). They can quite literally consume all available space and resources, leaving you with the unenviable choice of slashing core budgetary line items to continue to feed the unmanaged multitudes of PCs, Mobile Devices, Apps, etc. or play the ogre and start culling the herd, forever to be known as the grim reaper of all things cute and fuzzy!


So, how do you avoid this inglorious fate?  The first step is to size the problem.  This is not a cursory, or even detailed look through the enterprise asset database.  This involves cleaning in the corners in the back of the legacy platforms you thought had been retired years ago, rifling through the attic of one-off solutions that are still alive and well on a tower under a desk somewhere, and most importantly, looking to the vastness of the cloud.  The best way to get a real handle on use is to go to where the users are (the edge) and see what they are doing (things they often neglect to inform you of). There are a number of tools in the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) space that can help in this area, and a whole new class of endpoint solutions that excel at finding what you didn’t know to look for.


The next step is to get a real handle on costs.  Many of these small cloud or app platforms seem negligible in cost, until you add them across hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of devices and users.  I’ve long been a proponent of a services-based costing view in IT, and helped to found the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council several years ago - a tremendous resource in this area (


Once you’ve established a view of current apps (not a one time inventory, rather a proactive and ongoing process) and mapped them to the operating model of your company in a TBM-based platform, patterns and trends begin to emerge.  Shining light on a major source of cost or resource consumption may identify some low-hanging fruit.  Maybe you can pull the plug on a few orphaned apps, regaining compute power and other resources.  In the cloud space you may find various departments selecting diverse solutions for the same basic capability, like file sharing, research, or lead generation. If IT can negotiate enterprise-wide contracts and reduce costs, the business becomes much more amenable to standardizing on a platform.


So now you’ve counted the Tribbles and tallied up their dinner tab.  Nice job, but from here the work gets more delicate.  It may be necessary to tell a valued business stakeholder that their pet application is obsolete or inefficient.  But now you’ll be armed with solid data showing what it’s really costing to maintain, and what you may be forced to sacrifice if they can’t agree to an alternative.


In every company, legacy and monolithic/fragmented apps are common.  But just because an application has been around for a while doesn’t mean it must go. I like to use the reframing device that some apps are more “Heirloom” vs “Legacy/Depricated”.  Often older, highly customized applications are still delivering strong value and, if properly maintained, can continue to do so. 


But you want to carefully inspect overlapping application functionality and cases where multiple apps are supporting the same business processes.  Stakeholders may say customization by region, or for varying products or go-to-market models is critical, and in some cases it may truly be.  But IT can help the business envision “IT debt” in terms of ROI and/or risk: What value is the app creating for the cost it generates?  Does the app present a risk in terms of future ability to transact business, or business continuity or agility in the face of future disruption?  When costs and risk are presented in such terms the stakeholder may find consolidation or migration much more palatable.


Another route to simplification is to ‘declutter’ the application landscape by presenting a thoughtful environmental tool like HP’s Grommet framework, which can harness the functionality of a group of applications and present a single interface with which the user interacts.  Since it’s not necessary for the user to interact with the applications themselves, IT can plug in and unplug apps in background.  You can select functions and/or layers of capabilities to move to SaaS or private/hybrid cloud – and since the user continues to operate in that familiar interface the transition is more seamless.


We’d all prefer to focus our program dollars on change the business projects we know are critical to a modern datacenter, but if you’re not doing basic ‘garbage collection’ in the background you may be stranding resources or leaving money on the table.  As with any major IT transformation, it’s a good idea to begin addressing application sprawl on a targeted scale.  Start small, in one business process area or with one trusted stakeholder, show clear success in the stewardship of IT resources, and gain credibility and support.  Then you’ll likely find other areas of the business beating a path to your door.


Facing an IT portfolio with a plethora of hungry applications can be daunting.  But by applying some vigilance and stewardship to the environment it’s possible to develop a strategy that gets you out of the trouble with Tribbles. And framing stakeholder discussions in business terms backed by solid data can ‘demystify’ IT, help IT deliver clear business value, and make for a much stronger partnership between IT and business.  In this way you may find that you both….wait for it…”Live long and prosper!” J


About the Author: Ralph Loura is a key leader for the newly formed Hewlett Packard Enterprise, serving as CIO for the Enterprise Group and Hewlett Packard Labs. Ralph’s objective is to help shape go-to-market strategies through world-class processes, tools, and data that identify opportunities for HP’s Enterprise Group. He believes all IT functions should serve as value creators rather than cost centers, and that the path to value comes from business outcomes tied to user experience.


For additional insights on Ralph Loura’s take on this topic, check out the webinar titled Application transformation: The difference between Heirloom and Legacy IT



The following post was written by Steve Hall, Partner, Information Services Group (ISG) and originally published in the PitchBook Blog.

As merger and acquisition activity heats up, IT leaders need to be prepared to take a more active role in ensuring that value is properly assessed before the transaction is completed, and then delivered during the integration process that follows.

With tens of thousands of M&A transactions expected this year, CIOs will be called on to help the board determine how the deal will grow revenue, decrease costs, and mitigate risk. The effective use of Technology Business Management (TBM), and the collaboration between IT and lines of business that it entails, will not only inform the M&A transaction during the due diligence phase, but it will also lead to a more efficient transition and a better understanding of the costs and anticipated benefits of the deal. Because TBM is a holistic framework that positions IT in a collaborative business role—one that provides data-driven assessments of its value and role—it is the IT leaders themselves, engaged at the outset of the M&A process, and through its completion, who are best positioned to help fully articulate the M&A rationale and deliver a successful process and outcome.

If one considers several M&A scenarios and their associated business objectives, it becomes clear that IT integration approaches are not one-size-fits-all. In an M&A case driven by cost reductions and improved efficiencies within the context of eliminating a competitor, the absorption rationale—although not without its challenges—is straightforward.  The acquiring entity provides all IT systems, but even then the implementation or advancement of a TBM strategy requires attention during the integration. If the primary M&A goal is based on R&D, the parallel but bridged IT coexistence is straightforward, too.

An M&A rationale based on geographic expansion to increase market share also seems straightforward, but IT professionals prepared for this M&A challenge are delivering quality data to best guide the M&A strategy development, as well as execute it. That geographic expansion likely requires a hybrid response to IT systems integration with elements of the absorption model, but it also relies heavily on a “best of breed” approach that retains or recombines superior process or functionality provided by the acquired company. Making optimal decisions requires IT leaders to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the target firm’s IT systems, evaluate the portfolios of both, and deliver cost-effective solutions that drive future growth.

Throughout the entire M&A lifecycle, the CIO is poised to assess opportunities, mitigate risk and develop and executable IT plan rooted in a multidimensional, 360-degree view of the process. The CIO operates as an integral part of the organizational team within that lifecycle, but the critical and active role of IT emerges as the parties move from an acquisition and divestiture phase to executing the separation-integration process. Here, the two issues at the forefront of M&A transactions from that IT perspective—a perspective connected in the TBM framework to all other business units and processes—is to ensure that different platforms work together post-acquisition, and how to optimize the new environment and the costs involved. Doing so is not always easy, and resistance from either or both M&A parties is a given. It becomes easier when the IT leader communicates a core business case throughout the process.

Click here for our latest M&A Report, featuring data-driven analysis on deal flow, sector activity and investment trends for strategic and private equity buyers.

Metrics are the basis for building that case, and for creating a meaningful baseline that anticipates growth and measures savings before the deal closes. But metrics are in service to more than the creation of benchmarks, and quality data is as important a communication tool as it is a standard measure for quantifying success. Data tell a story for stakeholders, and provides a common language for discussing and evaluating the M&A process to both its internal and external constituencies. When, inevitably, at some point in the process stakeholders on either side step in and say, “We used to do it better,” data provides a shared understanding between the M&A parties’ expectations and cultures.

Ideally, that data isn’t meant for looking backward or creating reports that do. Identifying data that supports TBM priorities—and designing that data collection into the toolkit—offers the enterprise an opportunity to revisit how it measures success, and maximizes the foresight value of that data.

The traditional approach in M&A circles has been all about percentages, and how to achieve a certain percentage as a measure of cost—but we know now that is impractical, and subject to far too many contingencies to offer the most realistic portrait. Reducing costs to a percentage—as opposed to reducing costs with performance metrics in place for a greater understanding—will only lead to greater risks elsewhere. This strategy, moreover, often fails to accurately evaluate specific, real-life scenarios.

If the costs for services are truly understood through a TBM process both comprehensive and focused, then the “big picture” can supplant the percentage mandate and lead to more intelligent decisions and the M&A discussions that surround them. For example, if the costs are understood but still seen as too high, then the discussion is no longer framed as, “Reduce it by another half percent.” More important, the strategic possibilities and conclusions are no longer derived from conversations that fail to capture critical information that the TBM model makes available. The discussion about where to cut or eliminate becomes more focused, and is a more reliable measure of very specific services, or a better evaluation of operational IT choices to move more on-premise to an as-a-service environment. These approaches deliver value during the M&A process, but it’s important to design them to extend beyond the moment.

From a TBM standpoint, the M&A process itself is not a departure from “normal business,” rather than an expression of it. The CIO and other organizational team members leading through each M&A phase need to design plans that are reusable, support continuous improvement and remain flexible enough for agile and intelligent responses in the changing business environment of the future. Just as IT leaders are tasked with the systems integration that the M&A process demands, so too is a leadership team whose basis in TBM positions the M&A experience itself within the wider data-driven future of the enterprise.

The biggest challenge in M&A, of course, is achieving that common language, and this requires a rapid adoption of TBM principles—of knowing what is being spent in both organizations, and how they align. Achieving the desired M&A outcome with a clear roadmap and shared understanding of opportunities—not just from an IT perspective but within a TBM framework—creates the optimal environment for success during the M&A cycle, and continues to be transformative long after the M&A process is over.

Steven Hall is a Partner, Emerging Technologies at ISG, a leading technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company. A seasoned professional in strategic consulting, Steve’s deep knowledge and experience in cloud, automation, mobile, DevOps, Technology Business Management and global Service Delivery models has been essential in guiding some of the largest multi-national corporations in creating more effective, efficient and value-creating IT strategies. For more information, visit ISG’s website at

Director of Technology Financial Business Management at Molina Healthcare, Inc.


When I first began implementing Technology Business Management principles at Molina Healthcare in 2006, I didn’t realize I was doing TBM. I just knew we needed to get a handle on IT resources to better understand our costs, and from there it evolved and expanded.


Four years ago, we formalized our TBM discipline, and two years ago, I started attending the TBM Conference. I wish I’d known then what I know now about the conference, because I believe there’s unique value in this event that is unrivaled by other IT conferences.


I’ve learned so much to progress our TBM discipline by attending this conference, so as the event draws near (Oct. 26-29 in Chicago), I wanted to share why I think this is the only IT conference you should be attending this year. It really boils down to five key reasons:


  1. Realizing you are not alone. When you connect with peers who are experiencing the same challenges and have implemented and found success with TBM, you realize that the way your company operates is not that different from other companies, and this allows you to see different aspects of the problem and solution that you may not have originally seen. It was comforting for me to realize that TBM is a journey and not an end-game, and everyone continues to evolve and improve as you tackle new challenges.
  2. Sharing your experiences with peers – and your team. For years in TBM circles, we’ve talked about the need to evangelize IT to the business. But as TBM is becoming more widespread, there are a lot of people who come to the conference to learn more about the discipline and receive guidance on how to get started. The conference provides a forum for sharing your knowledge and expertise in best practices with peers, and also educate those who are just getting started. There’s something for everyone at every level; it’s not exclusively senior strategy leaders at the conference – there’s also a user base of practitioners who are responsible for the data and the model. This year, I’m bringing several of my teammates because I feel strongly that they can benefit from their peers the way I have at this conference.
  3. Getting the un-conference experience. Too many conferences have become these massive forums for vendors, and as such, you end up spending a lot of time and money to be sold to. I believe this conference is really geared towards the practitioners – their experiences, their successes, and their learning lessons. That makes the TBM Conference more heavily focused on solutions than selling. And that’s the real reason you attend conferences anyway – to learn and grow. I don’t know how many conferences I’ve attended that laid out a problem and gave no actual solutions. This is not one of those conferences.
  4. A-ha moments. There’s a lot to learn at this conference, but it’s those big “a-ha” moments that make it memorable. For me, hearing from Lisa Stalter from Cox Enterprises at last year’s conference was a big moment. As she was talking through her TBM model, she confirmed everything I started with Molina was in practice and working successfully elsewhere. Having that confirmation was really validating for me and what we’d done. And that was just one moment among many. You’ll have yours, too (check out this year’s keynotes here).
  5. Connecting with those who have a shared purpose. The TBM Conference provides some of the best networking opportunities out there for senior IT leaders. You’re all there for the same reason, and interestingly, that shared purpose strips away the competitiveness and empowers us to support each other – there and throughout the year. Several of the people I’ve met at the conference are people I speak with throughout the year. We’ve even developed an unofficial user group that meets periodically.


I hope to see you at the TBM Conference. Register now and I’ll see you in Chicago! You can also reach me through the TBM Council through TBM Connect.

By Nathan Lockwood


Our agenda is really starting to fill up, and we are excited to announce our newest Keynote speaker John Bruno.


Bruno serves as Executive Vice President of Enterprise Innovation and Chief Information Officer of Aon. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Global Payments and the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD).


He will be one of the many Keynote speakers at TBM Conference 2015 and will call upon his years of experience in the IT field to tell his story on how he used TBM to influence corporate strategy.


Bruno will speaking on the following topic regarding his TBM journey with Aon:



Pull up a Chair: How Technology Can Influence Corporate Strategy


When your CEO asks you to pull up a chair at the next executive meeting, what will you say? You know this won’t be a bits and bytes conversation, but rather a stats and facts discussion directed at answering how technology is helping to grow the business.


Today, CIOs need to be both business and service delivery focused. The practice of TBM has helped Aon Technology move from a cost center to a strategic partner. In this session, John Bruno will step through a playbook for influencing corporate strategy and building lasting partnerships with C-suite executives. Learn how a shift to a service owner, fact-based, data driven mindset earned this CIO a seat at the table. Pull up a chair and hear how you can influence corporate strategy.


Click for a look at First American CEO Dennis Gilmore and CIO Larry Godec’s presentation on a similar topic, TBM in the Eyes of the Enterprise, from last year’s TBM Conference.


And don’t forget to register for TBM Conference 2015 so you won’t miss out on this presentation and many more like it.

By Nathan Lockwood


As the summer comes to a close, the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council is preparing for the 3rd annual TBM Conference in Chicago; and this year is going to be better than ever!


While we have the speakers and panels to back that up, we also have some evening events lined up for when you need a break from the keynotes, panels and breakout sessions – a time to let loose and get to know our peers.


We think that conferences should be fun. That’s why #TBMC15 is so much more than the only conference in the world with more than 1,000 of the field’s most forward-thinking IT leaders in attendance; it’s also a time when you can expand your circle of influence at our three partner-sponsored evening events.



Welcome Reception: “Taste of Chicago”


Monday, October 26, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.


Kick off the conference at the American Craft Kitchen and Bar, located within the Hyatt Regency, for a chance to mingle with other conference attendees during a true Chicago-style event. The evening will include entertainment from a blues band while guests are encouraged to enjoy a “Taste of Chicago” experience, dining on a variety of dishes that represent the city’s different neighborhoods.


Dress Code: Business Casual


Sponsored By ISG



TBM Council Awards Gala: “Night at the Museum”


Tuesday, October 27, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.


Experience an unforgettable night at the Field Museum of Natural History to honor IT and finance leaders for their ingenuity, creativity, and contribution to Technology Business Management. The TBM Council Awards recognize the profound impact that these professionals have on their organizations by empowering operational excellence, business innovation, business transformation, TBM vision, and best practices. In the museum, guests will be mesmerized by the gleaming white marble interiors, the 300 year-old fossilized limestone flooring, the sky lit vaulted ceilings, and the beautiful view overlooking Lake Michigan.


Dress Code: The suggested dress code for the TBM Council Awards Gala is Black Tie, but it is optional.


Sponsored By KPMG



Evening Social “1920s: Mobsters and Dolls”


Wednesday, October 28, 7:00 p.m. – Late


Join us for an epic prohibition-style celebration to close out this event! Dress to impress in your finest, show-stopping 1920s attire and enjoy a night of bourbon-filled cocktails, dancing and Chicago jazz in a glamorous speakeasy setting. Go back in time to the Roaring Twenties and experience the city as it once was, filled with mobsters and dolls.


Dress Code: 1920s Dress-up


Sponsored By Apptio



Don’t miss out on the best IT event of the year! Learn more about the TBM Conference and register here.

By Ali Kramer


The TBM Council announced the finalists of its third annual TBM Awards. Winners are recognized for the profound impact they’ve made on their organization by empowering operational excellence, business innovation, business transformation, TBM vision and best practices. The TBM Awards ceremony will be hosted by Ramón Baez, Senior Vice President of Customer Advocacy at Hewlett-Packard Company and attended by TBM Conference guests at the historic Field Museum on Tuesday, October 27.


Finalists were chosen as a result of nominations submitted by their colleagues and business partners. After an extensive evaluation process, the following finalists were chosen based on their contribution to advancing the TBM methodology:


  • AOL
  • Clorox Company
  • Cox Enterprises
  • eBay
  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • LyondellBasell
  • Nomura Securities International
  • Shell
  • Swedish Match



Winners will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of industry leading technology executives, academics, and IT thought leaders. This year's TBM Awards selection committee includes:


  • Ramón Baez, Senior Vice President of Customer Advocacy at Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Carl Stumpf, Managing Director at CME Group
  • James LaPlaine, CIO and Senior Vice President of Technology Operations at AOL
  • Judy Fitzgerald, CFO at State of Washington Consolidated Tech Services
  • Martha Heller, President of Heller Search Associates
  • George Westerman, Research Scientist at MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy
  • Alex Mueller-Herbst, Partner at Information Services Group
  • Himanshu Agarwal, Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company
  • Todd Tucker, General Manager of the TBM Council



“The organizations represented in this year’s TBM Awards process are among the most transformational in the industry and should be credited with the advancement of the entire TBM discipline,” said Chris Pick, President of the TBM Council and Chief Marketing Officer at Apptio. “I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize their hard work as an example of what can be achieved when IT leaders harness the power of Technology Business Management and their peer community.”


The TBM Conference is the only event for IT leaders focused on managing the business of IT.  The conference was designed to bring together Global 2000 CIOs, CTOs and CFOs to learn from their executive peers who have successfully transformed the IT organization.


This year's conference will feature keynote speakers, industry leaders, visionaries, and innovators from companies like Microsoft, ExxonMobil, DuPont, SunTrust, and Cox Automotive among many others.


For more information about the 2015 TBM Conference, please visit:

By Nathan Lockwood


The changing color of the leaves is a signal of many things to come – cooler temperatures, shorter days and winter creeping ever closer – but for the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council, it means that the TBM Conference is just around the corner.


The TBM Conference brings the greatest minds in technology to Chicago to explore best practices that produce greater value, align IT with business goals, and deliver TBM breakthroughs. Today, we’re excited to announce a list of newly confirmed speakers who will be sharing their experiences with us in Chicago on Oct. 27-29.


James LaPlaine, CIO & SVP TechOps, AOL

As Chief Information Officer, James manages the solution, development, and operations organization that is responsible for the company’s overall IT infrastructure. He oversees AOL's global data centers, public and private cloud services, employee productivity services, networks, systems, storage, application engineers, and NOC supporting all of AOL's consumer facing applications and advertising services. AOL’s media platform (AMP), content hub, data warehouse/analytics, and Relegence services (semantic and content trends analysis) are developed under James’ leadership.


Theresa Lanowitz, Founder, Voke Inc.

Founder of voke, inc., Theresa is recognized worldwide as a strategic thinker and market influencer in application lifecycle, virtualization and convergence markets. With over 20 years of experience, Theresa has been associated with some of the most important breakthrough technology and products of their time. From 1999 through 2006, Theresa was a research analyst with Gartner. During her tenure with Gartner, Theresa pioneered the application quality ecosystem, championed the application security space, and consistently identified new and emerging companies to watch.


Michael Brady, CTO, AIG

Mike is AIG’s Chief Technology Officer and oversees the CTO organization, which includes Enterprise Architecture, Application Development Methodologies and Infrastructure. In this role, Mike is responsible for AIG’s technology strategy, as well as the development and execution of AIG’s technical infrastructure vision. He is also accountable for identifying leading edge technologies that will result in tangible benefits to all of AIG’s stakeholders.


Karl Armani, Head of Infrastructure and Operations, Medallia Inc.

Karl is the Leader of infrastructure and Operations at Medallia. Prior to that he led infrastructure architecture, engineering, and operations for large eCommerce and corporate environments at Expedia. Karl was also VP of Technology for Moody's Investors Service in New York. He also led the technology engineering and operations functions for for 5 years of explosive growth, from the startup phase to becoming a leading online travel company.


As new speakers are confirmed they will be added to the TBMC15 agenda so register today and join us to network with innovative technology and business leaders in the Windy City! We look forward to welcoming you there!

Today’s Federal IT leaders are facing many of the same challenges as their private sector counterparts – heightened expectations, the need to optimize spending and a lack of transparency into their costs and investments.


Since the launch of the IT COST Commission this past April, we’ve done a lot of work to understand the unique challenges and constraints facing the Federal CIO. And although there are many parallels with the private sector, we’ve also learned about the complexities of the public sector. It’s with these learnings in mind that we set out to plan this year’s TBM Conference to have collaborative opportunities available which are tailored to a Federal audience. We invite you to join us in Chicago to learn and engage in discussions focused on the application of Technology Business Management in the public sector.


TBM in the Federal Sector

Each year, the Federal government spends more than $79 billion on technology. Much of this spend is distributed across multiple agencies and component agencies with little insight into the efficiency of each dollar spent. During this keynote discussion, you’ll hear from a panel of Federal CIOs participating in the IT COST Commission share their perspective on how “managing IT like a business” can become a reality in the Federal government. This keynote panel will be moderated by Deloitte and include:

  • Frank Baitman, CIO Department of Health and Human Services
  • Richard McKinney, CIO of Department of Transportation
  • Lisa Schlosser, Deputy Administrator of the Office of Management and Budget


IT COST Commission Meeting at the TBM Conference

We invite you to attend the October meeting of the ITCC, which will bring our Federal CIOs and partners together to review and comment on the latest progress in the creation of a federalized model for gaining transparency into agency IT spending. The Commission is proposing to organize around four different work streams which together will provide a common standard for classifying and reporting costs to enable a consistent method to define, analyze, report, and decision all aspects of IT cost.


Engage on pressing issues and Network with Your Peers

Collaborate with others on TBM Taxonomy and FITARA, including how FITARA affects IT spending and how you can leverage the Apptio Unified TBM Model (ATUM) standard to provide the highest level cost transparency for federal reporting requirements.

Network with private sector peers and thought leaders such as Mike Brown, CIO at ExxonMobil, Jim DuBois, CIO at Microsoft, and the entire TBM Council Board of Directors during breakout sessions and scheduled networking events.

TBM Conference brings the greatest minds in technology to Chicago to explore best practices that produce greater value, align IT with organization goals, and deliver Technology Business Management breakthroughs. Register today!


For more information on the TBM Council and IT COST Commission join TBM Connect!

[Note: This article was originally posted to Mental Effort on January 19, 2015.]

Gustave Flaubert was a nineteenth century French author who is considered by many to have created the style of the modern novel. As the New York Times literary critic, James Woods, put it, "Novelists should thank Flaubert the way poets thank spring; it all begins again with him." Flaubert painstakingly depicts his characters with precise and lean descriptions. His works, like Madame Bovary, are highly referenced examples of Realism. Maybe you've never heard of him, however I bet you know one of his famous quotes:

"There is no truth. There is only perception."

Of course we all create and have a library of perceptions, mental images based on our senses, about the world around us.  Sensory information, in a sense (pun intended), are simply data. Data which doesn't have a natural right or wrong associated with it. We form perceptions by combining both our sensory data and the experiences and knowledge we have about a particular subject.


Harvest Moon by Brett Davis -



For example, you've likely seen, on occasion, a moon that looks big and orange just above the horizon. Now, we know that the moon didn't actually grow, and that this largeness is an optical illusion. The red & orange color is due to the filtering of blue light from the thicker parts of the atmosphere which are located closer to the horizon.

But what if we didn't have today's modern science and understanding of atmospheres, orbits, and different wavelengths of light? We might think that the moon suddenly grew and turned a frightening shade of blood orange. Our observations would be the only data we have about the moon and our perceptions would be set. If this were the case, we would have created a misconception about the moon, a view that is incorrect because it is based on a faulty understanding.

Misconceptions are the subject of today's third part of my series on IT business transformation. We'll explore this question:

What perceptions of technology do business leaders make that lead to misconceptions of IT services and staff?

As a technologist you have experience and knowledge that business leaders in other areas won't. What you perceive when merging your observations with this knowledge may be vastly different than the perceptions that others form about your work. You have to translate your experience into language that the uninitiated will understand and care about. Others have not chosen your specialty, so they may not be naturally inclined to be curious about technology, to want to know the why, or to even "hear" what it is your saying unless you speak in their terms.

Stated simply, you have to stop talking about technology. Instead speak in terms that matter to your audience, to truly change perceptions.


Here I want to make an important and maybe obvious point. On occasion I've found that the misconception lies with me, and not the other way around.  If my team is hard to work with, or has a habit of saying "no", the lens of "misconception" just might be reversed and introspection would be in order. You shouldn't expect other leaders to take the lead to point this out to you, after all they have been by giving you feedback all along, haven't they?

By way of example, let's take a look at two common areas of misconception: cost and transparency. I'll offer a scenario, talk about the likely misconceptions, and offer ideas on how to turn the conversation toward IT Value.

IT Costs


Your IT costs are allocated back to a business unit, showing up on a P&L as single lump sum.



IT is seen as expensive, uncontrollable, and adding little value.

IT is a tax on the business.


The message you should receive

Business leaders don't know what specific value you bring, they don't understand their consumption of your services, and they often see marketing from external companies with little on this front from you.



Dig into the details of what is truly represented in this allocation. Do you understand it, does it make sense to you? Take financial accountability of your costs and how they are reflected to the business units.


Reaffirm and validate the rules that govern allocation. Are they arbitrary or based on data?


Consider grouping the allocations into more specific categories from the services you provide (servers, storage, customer support, etc…) versus a single number.


Provide operational and consumption based metrics in addition to the financials.


Sit down with each product GM and have them describe their business to you and how they think IT supports their cause.


Arm yourself with the risks, road map, and upside of the business meeting their goals.


Use all of this data to establish monthly business problem solving sessions where IT is a partner and part of the culture.


Lack of Transparency


IT is late to learn of new product and service offerings. Much IT work feels reactionary versus planned. Little to no strategic planning is done with the IT department.



IT is a supplier, providing only tactical services. IT is a black box, what do they even do all day long?

IT is a bottleneck, not flexible enough, and slowing my business down.


The message you should receive

Business leaders see you as ticket takers, waiting for direction from them. They see you as a vendor, not a partner. Vendors are there to brow beat, partners play on the same team.

Business leaders don't understand the technical risks of their decisions.



Define a service catalog, market the value you bring. Rinse and repeat the marketing.


Talk about risk prevention and the insurance policy of an on-call team, Network Operations Center, or penetration testing of your services.


While supplying compute, storage, and network is essential, turn the dialog to the higher order services you do as part of solving a business problem. Don't lead with hardware configuration and speeds and feeds.


Likely flexibility comments are really about not having visibility into the workload of the IT department. Determine how to make this visible, catalog all tickets in a queue, categorize them, ask for help setting priorities with your peer business leads. Oh, and market that you have this visible display, often.


Create a forum (newsletter, blog post, lunch and learn sessions) to talk about the big things you are doing that will improve efficiencies, limit risk, save money, and enable better products and services.


Remember, IT is a strategic weapon and creates value for the company.

These tactics are examples of the types of actions you should have in your IT roadmap to create positive perceptions of your organization. You want to turn emotion led decisions into data-driven decisions. The next time you hear feedback from your peers in the company, try to empathize and figure out why they feel that way. Only one of two outcomes is possible:

  1. They've got it right and you have work to do to address the feedback,
  2. They've got it wrong, and you have work to do to address the misconception.

Ignoring the feedback will further strengthen the observations and lead to more heavily entrenched feelings toward IT, more pressure on IT budgets, and over time erode the support you need to be transformational.

Next, in part 4 in this series, I’ll explain why building a complete IT financial model is the right first step in beginning this transformational journey.

James LaPlaine is the CIO & SVP, Technology Operations at AOL. You can follow James on his blog Mental Effort and on twitter @JamesLaPlaine.

In a twelve part series about IT business transformation, James explores the need for the modern technology leader to be a catalyst for change, leverage IT value as a corporate strategic weapon, and lead the way for complete financial transparency. Utilizing this approach, today's technology leader can provide the foundation for the company to build better products and services and gain approval for technology led initiatives that often struggle for executive support and funding.