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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: http://tbmconference.org/.

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 Priceline.com 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 - https://flic.kr/p/5mNyLx

HARVEST MOON BY BRETT DAVIS – HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/5MNYLX

 

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

Scenario

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

 

Misconceptions

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.

 

Solutions

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

Scenario

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.

 

Misconception

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.

 

Solution

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.

By Michelle Speirs

Momentum is building for the 3rd annual TBM Conference taking place in Chicago, October 26-29.

Register to experience an inspiring examination of what’s possible with Technology Business Management (TBM) and tap into the collective IT knowledge, wisdom and best practices of 1,000 IT leaders just like you. Join CIOs and other visionary IT leaders like these speakers:

  • Aaron Levie, CEO, Cofounder, & Chairman, Box
  • Tamara Alaiys, Principal, Ernst & Young
  • Anil Cheriyan, CIO, SunTrust Bank
  • Marc Raman, CIO, Merck & Co.
  • Ed Smith, CTO, Cox Automotive

We’re making regular updates to the agenda – check it out for more speakers and sessions. Plus, there’s time for fun and connecting with other IT leaders. Check out these engaging events to enhance your conference experience:

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. 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 TBM. Sponsored by
Planviewand Cherwell Software.

Evening Social “1920s: Mobsters and Dolls”

Wednesday, October 28, 7:00 p.m. – Late
Go back in time to the Roaring Twenties and experience the city as it once was, filled with mobsters and dolls. 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. Sponsored by Apptio.

Click here to register now!

By Maria Galindo

Each year, the State of Washington spends nearly $1 billion on IT spanning staff, infrastructure, applications, maintenance, and operations. Yet, prior to 2012, there was little visibility into the IT spend or the value it provided to the state.

A Lack of Transparency Eroding Confidence

Pressure was mounting. Adding to a longstanding concern by technology, legislative, and policy executives that the state lacked sufficient and credible data on technology investments, the Governor and Legislature increasingly demanded more detailed information on IT spend and performance to facilitate better decision-making.

At the same time, public confidence and trust in governmental efficiency and effectiveness was eroding. High-profile IT projects had gone off the rails, raising citizen awareness of IT spend. Cost analysis and benchmarking studies were mandated; results yielded little insight. Something had to give.

With a new Office of the Chief Information Officer, and a new CIO leading the agency, the state embarked on a journey to transparency that earned them a TBM Champion Award from the TBM Council.

Learn more about their success story, and full details on how they achieved these impressive results here.

Aggressive and Persistent Transparency

“We were so aggressive and persistent in really understanding the transparency of IT costs that it became law,” said Michael DeAngelo, Deputy CIO of the State of Washington.

Legislation was enacted mandating the use of Technology Business Management, which ultimately impacted 44 agencies in the state. Each agency began leveraging Apptio’s Cost Transparency and cost modeling capabilities. Not only did the agency achieve the transparency it was so desperately seeking, it also extended that transparency to the public by educating and informing citizens about its program.

An Ongoing Journey

In addition to ongoing efforts to inform participating state agencies, the Legislature and general public, the state plans to:

  • Review and refine taxonomy to improve data quality
  • Continue to discover, cleanse, and utilize data
  • Create a policy that will identify required minimum data reporting
  • Socialize outcomes with legislators and stakeholders

Congratulations to the State of Washington for using TBM to transform their organization in such an impressive and effective manner. You can check out all the details of their success story here.

By Maria Galindo

The TV business has been a tough game in recent years. Intense competition and evolving customer viewing habits have placed new demands on cable and satellite providers, requiring them to be both adaptive and nimble. El Segundo, Calif.-based satellite service provider DIRECTV knew it wasn’t going to remain competitive by maintaining status-quo within the IT department. Simply cutting costs and showing incremental improvement was no longer enough.

The changing market required a deeper cultural change, and DIRECTV was up to the challenge. Their approach was not only a win for the business and DIRECTV's 38 million subscribers, it also secured them a “Digital Innovator Award” from the TBM Council this fall.

Getting a Clear Picture of IT Spend

To begin, CIO Mike Benson went straight to the root of the issue. He quickly set about learning how and where the company was investing in technology and what value was being derived from those investments. Using data from Apptio’s TBM suite of applications, DIRECTV's IT department was able to get a clear picture of the IT spend, slice and dice that information into meaningful segments, and have informed conversations with business leaders about budget allocation.

“TBM helps us analyze our opportunities quickly, so we can make the best and most informed decisions on which activities we should pursue to delight our customers,” said Chris Beaudin, Senior Director of IT Services for DIRECTV. “Without the trust that we’ve been able to garner using the TBM framework, innovation would still exist, but I don’t know if we would be doing the right things at the right time.”

TBM Drives Financial Transparency

You can get the full scoop in a new case study that details DIRECTV’s journey to financial transparency. This new case study explores how cost transparency powered an innovation engine that transformed and grew the business at DIRECTV. But the real gem in their story is how information inspired an enterprise-wide culture shift.

Benson understood that a critically important component of success is failure. So when he was tasked with spurring innovation, he challenged the business to embrace failure by removing the stigma of failure. By encouraging the “fail fast” spirit and celebrating the lessons learned from failure the team was able to ensure success.

Strategies like hosting a “Shark Tank”-inspired competition to building an NFL Sunday Ticket app that has helped deliver DIRECTV’s competitive edge, the company has landed some big wins. Benson says the business continues to identify opportunities for innovation so DIRECTV can continue to deliver for its customers.

By Maria Galindo

CME Group is the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, handling three billion contracts worth approximately $1 quadrillion annually. The company provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers, bringing together individuals, companies, and institutions that want to manage risk or that want to profit by accepting risk.

Yet the company struggled to get a handle on one of its own key operational risks – peaks in customer demand that were unexpected and instantaneous. To address these demand peaks effectively, CME Group had committed to having at least two times the capacity of every peak available. This was inefficient and expensive.

Understanding Peak Demand and Costs

The company began to examine the situation by shifting the conversation from just managing the peaks to understanding the customer transaction profiles that fueled the underlying demand. They figured out that if they could find a way to optimize the inefficient customer profiles, they could significantly reduce the need to purchase gear for the next peak.

There was however one key hurdle in this this initiative. CME Group was stifled by a lack of transparency around customer behavior as it was relying on ineffective spreadsheets to measure cost -- a key data point for understanding demand. 


The Road to Technology Business Management

Spreadsheets, static reports, and rigid business intelligence tools weren’t helping CME Group marry disparate data to derive meaning from it. After all, you can ask the right questions and even know how to attack a problem, but without the right tools, even a smart company can be fighting a losing game.

CME Group adopted Technology Business Management (TBM) to reimplement cost modeling. TBM helped CME determine the net impact of the organization's actions on profitability. It also helped them leverage relevant costing data and insights to influence internal and external customer behavior and executive decision-making.

With data-driven insights into customer behavior, CME Group did more than bring operational stability to peak events, it transformed the business – from customer satisfaction to market efficiency, all the way to executive decision-making.

TBM Council Recognition

CME Group were awarded the prestigious IT Financial Pioneer Award winner at this year’s Technology Business Management Conference. This award recognizes CFOs of IT or IT Controllers that help shape and transform the business -- through cost transparency that drives fact-based decisions, through shifting spending from run-the-business to innovation, and through shaping business demand.

You can read the full CME story here. For CME Group, gaining a better understanding of customer behavior driving demand so that behavior could be better managed and minimize peaks wasn’t possible prior to applying TBM.

Next steps? The IT Finance group is partnering with CME architects to implement a spatial computing language, with metrics enabled by TBM, to change the way that complex, real-time, high volume computations are distributed across a global infrastructure.

By Ali Kramer

The TBM Council has expanded its board of directors and appointed a new general manager, marking a point of significant momentum for the Council, which was founded three years ago to establish and promote Technology Business Management standards and practices.

The Council today announced that Todd Tucker joins as General Manager, and four industry leaders join as board members: Michael Brown, VP of global information services at ExxonMobil; Jim DuBois, CIO of Microsoft; Michael Neff, CIO of RWE; and Brian Adams, CIO of WorleyParsons to its board.

These board members significantly expand the Council’s reach into new verticals and new geographies, while also adding fresh perspectives to advance the TBM discipline as it becomes the standard operating model for IT.

"These giants in their field represent the future of the TBM Council. Now with a membership of over 1,600 visionary technology professionals, the TBM Council has already made a significant impact on the way IT investments are strategically made and communicated within enterprise organizations," said Chris Pick, President of the TBM Council.

Todd Tucker brings a deep understanding of TBM to the Council, having previously served as the Director of Research for the organization. During that time, he organized and led all of the Council's Workgroups, was responsible for writing the TBM Book, and developed the TBM Framework. As General Manager, Tucker will now be responsible for fulfilling the Council's mandates of education, standardization, and collaboration while growing its current member base.

Today's new TBM Council board members will be joining their peers from organizations like Goldman Sachs, Cisco Systems, Apptio, DIRECTV, Time Warner, and many more as they collectively advance business management practices for technology leaders.

Michael Brown, VP Global Information Services at ExxonMobil

Appointed to VP of Global Information Services in July 2011, Brown is responsible for ExxonMobil Information Technology. Brown initially joined ExxonMobil in 1980 as a process engineer and has held a variety of executive positions prior to his current role in IT. As a result, Brown brings an innovative perspective to the TBM Council, specifically around how IT leaders can more productively partner with their counterparts in the business.

Jim DuBois, Corporate VP & CIO of Microsoft Corporation

Appointed to CIO in January 2014, DuBois is responsible for Microsoft's global security, infrastructure, IT messaging, and business applications. In this position, DuBois has acquired a keen level of understanding of how IT works within a broader technology organization. Additionally, his expertise in the public cloud market will serve as an asset to the TBM Council as IT leaders are increasingly called to demonstrate the value of cloud technology.

"I have dedicated my career to ensuring that one of the world's leading software, services and devices organizations is optimizing its own technology investments. This is no easy task. As a result, I know just how important the mission of the TBM Council is to my counterparts," said DuBois. "The TBM Council's approach to measuring and communicating the value of IT investments to the business is the key to the success of CIOs today."

Michael Neff, Managing Director of IT GmbH at RWE & CIO of RWE

Appointed to CIO in July 2010, Neff is responsible for IT at RWE. With a background in information systems, project management, and business process engineering, Neff has a true technical understanding of how to maximize IT's investment in technology while rendering business results. As the TBM Council's first board member in Europe, Neff will be working directly with the existing network Council members throughout the United Kingdom and Germany.

Brian Adams, CIO and Director of Procurement at WorleyParsons

Appointed to CIO in 2011 and Director of Corporate Procurement in 2014, Adams is responsible for all IT services and corporate procurement across WorleyParsons. Adams has spent the past four years transforming the IT function within the company, aligning it closely to the TBM philosophy. Before being appointed to his current position, Adams served as the CFO of WorleyParsons for Australia/New Zealand. As a board member, Adams will bring his unique business perspective to the Council in addition to assisting his peers understand the TBM discipline as it expands throughout its newest markets in Australia and New Zealand.

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 www.TBMCouncil.org

By Sarah Vreugdenhil

The Technology Business Management (TBM) Council is honored to announce the establishment of the Commission on IT Cost Opportunity, Strategy, and Transparency (IT COST). This Commission will define a set of recommendations and best practices for federal departments and agencies to transparently measure and communicate their IT costs to better-equip CIOs to govern their IT spending and support agency missions with limited resources.

The federal government spends more than $78 billion each year on technology. Today, each agency uses its own standards to measure, benchmark, and communicate the value of its technology investments to its respective stakeholders. This lack of standardization creates numerous challenges including complexities in budgeting, an inability to benchmark costs against other agencies or the private sector, and difficulties in identifying duplicated resources or underutilized assets.

Leveraging Private-Sector Best Practices

The IT COST Commission was designed by the TBM Council, a global nonprofit organization comprised of more than 1,600 IT professionals, and federal agency CIOs, to leverage private-sector best practices by connecting commercial CIOs with federal counterparts.

The Commission is comprised of three core groups of technology leaders working together towards the common goal of IT cost transparency. Participating commissioners include:

  • Federal CIOs: Frank Baitman, CIO of the Department of Health and Human Services; Richard McKinney, CIO of the Department of Transportation; Sylvia Burns, CIO of the Department of Interior; Steve Cooper, CIO of the Department of Commerce; and Joyce Hunter, Acting CIO of the Department of Agriculture.
  • TBM Council Board of Directors: Larry Godec, CIO at First American; Rebecca Jacoby, CIO at Cisco; Tom Murphy, CIO at the University of Pennsylvania; Ralph Loura, CIO at the Enterprise Group at Hewlett Packard; Phuong Tram, CIO at DuPont; Mike Benson, CIO at DIRECTV; Don Duet, Co-Head of Technology at Goldman Sachs; and George Westerman, Research Scientist at MIT.
  • Private Sector Partners: Sunny Gupta, CEO at Apptio; Doug Lane, CEO at Capgemini Government Solutions; Todd Lavieri, President of Americas at Information Services Group; and Ralph Kahn, Vice President of Federal at Tanium.

"The TBM Council was founded to provide IT leaders with the standards, education, and collaboration they needed to run IT more like a business,” said Todd Tucker, General Manager of the TBM Council. “It is this mission that continues to drive us today and motivated our decision to establish the IT COST Commission. The Board of Directors and I are united in the belief that it's our duty to support our counterparts in the Federal government. We're privileged to do this work and excited to get started."

A Lasting Impact on the Public Sector

The first meeting of the IT COST Commission will take place in Washington, DC in June 2015. The result of this initiative will be a report planned for distribution in early 2016 outlining a series of recommendations for federal CIOs, which will further efforts to:

  • Aid in the implementation of the new Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) which gives Federal CIOs centralized control over the government's IT spending.
  • Reduce waste and increase efficiency of federal sector IT spend.
  • Empower federal CIOs to demonstrate the cost, quality, and value of their IT spend.

"On the heels of the recently distributed draft recommendations for FITARA implementation, my Federal CIO counterparts and I are eager to support the work being done by the TBM Council," said Richard McKinney, CIO of the Department of Transportation. "We believe that the IT COST Commission can give the taxpayers a better return on their investment while simultaneously providing Congress and the Administration with better insight into the value provided by technology."

"We realize that commercial and Federal CIOs approach technology cost accounting and management very differently," said Doug Lane, CEO of Capgemini Government Solutions. "However, there are key private sector learnings that can be applied to the federal space that we believe will have a substantive, lasting impact on the way public sector CIOs manage and communicate the value of their technology investments."

The IT COST Commission work is privately funded by the TBM Council and participating partner organizations. For more information or to join the IT COST Commission, please visit:  http://tbmcouncil.org/get-involved/it-cost-commission.html

By Vinita Ananth

We frequently hear from Technology Business Management leaders and enthusiasts how beneficial it is to connect with other IT leaders: share success stories, discuss challenges, and figure out new ways to make TBM work even better for their organizations.

So we thought, how much more valuable would these discussions be if they were ongoing? And that thought led to something big for people leading, engaging in, or interested in TBM – establishing a “digital industry network” for IT professionals to discuss and collaborate on TBM topics like transparency, planning, strategy, and cost management.

With that in mind, we’re excited that the TBM Council has announced the launch TBM Connect, a community for leading IT, finance, and business executives who want to collaborate on standards for measuring, improving, and communicating the value of IT.

As technical advisor to the Council, Apptio was selected to pilot its all-new user community within TBM Connect because of our organization's deep domain expertise. This will be a forum for product discussions led by Apptio customers, partners, and employees. Additional TBM Council partner communities will be introduced over time in an effort to expand the global reach of TBM Connect.

TBM Connect will showcase the foundational techniques, proven best practices, and core processes that define and support the TBM discipline, including:

  • Standards development: Join IT leaders from Global 2000 organizations in a discussion on TBM best practices in measuring the cost, quality, and value of technology investments.
  • Role-specific discussions: Focused content surrounding industry verticals and functions help to develop thought leadership, competency models, research, and customized TBM taxonomies in advancement of the IT profession.
  • Apptio product support and discussions: Read the latest product release notes, TBM success best practices, and connect with Apptio support professionals on Apptio's TBM applications.

Learn more about becoming a TBM Council member and accessing TBM Connect onTBMCouncil.org. General membership has no cost, but is restricted to qualified industry professionals.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Best practices are a common topic on our blog. We’ve talked about them for areas like IT Cost Optimization, IT Planning, and Running a Service Desk Like a CEO, to name a few, but sometimes you just want to see how others are doing it, and learn from them.

So check out these quick videos from companies who totally nail Technology Business Management, tackling their toughest IT challenges with great success, and secured a TBM Award in 2014. (Stay tuned for 2015 TBM Award winners to be announced at the TBM Conference in October!)

This winner’s circle includes DIRECTV, Mylan, Nationwide Building Society, CME Group, and the State of Washington. Learn how they overcame common objections to get started, took the plunge and over time, tailored and refined the way they use TBM to work for their organizations.

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The Digital Innovator Award: DIRECTV - YouTube

[Note: This article was originally posted to Mental Effort on January 12, 2015.]

I believe this to be a universal truth for successful companies:

We invest in things that create value.

This is true in our personal lives too. I don't just mean financial investments, it includes personal relationships, or decorations for our homes, or the car you drive. The value often times is an emotional one. In fact, I would say the most valued things create a positive emotion. When we engage in something that has perceived value, or worth, you feel better, right?

IT shops in many companies are seen as predominately a cost center, which is very often viewed as anti-value. We de-emphasize IT, by cutting budgets, when a company doesn't see the value it creates.

This simple graph visually depicts the danger of continuous IT budget cuts.

IT Misconceptions cropped

Over time, continuous cutting of an IT budget will cause the misconceptions about IT to become realities. There is a point where the burden of disparate technologies, lack of resources to deliver to timelines, under utilized assets, and lack of coordination about strategic product plans will simply overwhelm the IT department as the budget shrinks. When this happens, the misconceptions are further strengthened, leading to additional budget cuts, eroding more business value.

If you agree with me that creating value ought to be the mission for IT, then what we need is a set of disciplines to manage IT like a business. This is where the concept of Technology Business Management (TBM) can help.

It is imperative that IT leaders act now to reposition their work as creating business value before this point of "No Return" is crossed. Adopting the TBM framework allows an IT organization to focus on value creation and pivot from the typical cost dominated view.

We can break the TBM framework into two broad categories: Run the business and Transform the business.

Run the business: establishes the cost efficiencies needed to invest savings into the transformational work to create value. It also provides credibility which will be leveraged to garner support for future investments. Items in this category include:

    • Financial transparency
    • Consumption based metrics
    • Optimizing for cost
    • Establishing technology standards
    • Reduce the complexity of the IT portfolio
    • Modernize the tech stack and application deployment workflows

 

Transform the business: items here improve the way we do business by growing revenue, providing for better decision making, and improve business processes.

    • Innovate for growth
    • Become business partner consultants
    • Increasing agility
    • Make data-driven decisions
    • Leverage technology trends and competitive differentiators in new ways

 

The TBM Council makes this very astute observation, "Since run-the-business spending is often fixed and non-discretionary, budget cuts generally come from our change-the-business initiatives first." The first steps in a TBM adoption must be in support of establishing credibility and meaningful impact in the run-the-business items to protect the necessary transformational investments. I plan to share more about the TBM journey I'm working on as this series continues. For now I'll provide a snapshot of where we are on that journey timeline. I have broken this down into 3 broad phases:

 

  1. Modeling and transparency
  2. Evangelism and Education
  3. Moments of Impact

At AOL we spent the better part of twelve months building our TBM model and completed the bulk of this work in 2013. Last year we concentrated on educating and getting into a rhythm of monthly showback and chargeback models for every line of business. We now account for every dollar spent on IT and can trace this back to the business decision that was the catalyst for the spend. We aren't entirely done with our evangelism phase, and likely we will require some level of constant dialog here.

In 2015 we will spend more time doing data analysis and business consulting to allow us to find improvements and innovations we wouldn't have discovered without the rich data we are now producing. Those "moments of impact" are on the horizon for us.

I'd encourage you to take a look at the TBM Council website, which provides an overview of the framework, resources for how to begin your own transformation, and an engaged community of IT leaders around the planet who embrace the idea that IT must be about business value creation.

Part three in this series will discuss common IT misconceptions.

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James LaPlaine is the 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.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a network to grow a business.

Forward-thinking IT leaders are increasingly tapping into the expertise of the TBM Council as the network to leverage to take their organization to the next level, whether they’re seeking to communicate IT’s value to the business, optimize IT costs and investments, plan efficiently and accurately, or transform the IT operating model. And there’s no better chance for you to join forces with the TBM Council than to attend the TBM Conference 2015, October 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The TBM Conference is only event where this elite community of innovators, experts, and pragmatists come together to learn and share applied lessons, tactical skills, and proven best practices to manage the business of IT. Don’t miss your chance to collaborate and explore what’s new, what’s possible, and what’s next for IT’s most pressing challenges – register now!

Must-see Speaker Lineup

This year’s event – designed to empower attendees with the collective ideas, tools, and networking opportunities that are only possible through the TBM Council – will feature more than 50 CIO speakers from enterprise organizations. Keynote speakers this year include ExxonMobil’s CIO Mike Brown and Microsoft’s CIO Jim DuBois, and there will be more inspiring presentations from IT executives at organizations like Merck & Co., SunTrust, AOL, Apptio, and many more.

Passionate IT leaders who are interested in presenting on a TBM topic during this year’s event are encouraged to submit an abstract or topic idea. Elevate yourself and your organization by sharing your knowledge and expertise, while helping to shape the evolution of the TBM discipline.

Should You Attend?

Senior IT and finance leaders from Global 2000 organizations will get the most benefit from the TBM Conference. Infrastructure and operations leaders, CIOs and CTOs can look forward to sessions on IT services transformation, CIO key performance indicators and metrics, vendor billing standardization, financial transparency, funding innovation budgeting and planning, communicating tradeoffs, optimizing costs, benchmarking, infrastructure strategies, application rationalization, and many more.

There will be tons of great content for senior finance professionals too, including sessions on the CFO of IT competency model, financial transparency, benchmarking, M&A best practices, budgeting and planning, total cost of apps and services, IT services portfolio, optimizing costs, and economic trends impacting IT, including the financial benefits of cloud, shifting to a more variable cost structure, and reducing unit costs over time. If you are a CFO, CFO of IT or finance manager, you won’t want to miss this event.

Stay tuned for more information on the full speaker lineup and agenda. In the meantime, be sure to register now to get the early bird rate, which ends June 26. And bring your whole team for a 20% discount (for teams of seven or more).

I'm thrilled to announce that nominations are now open for the third-annual TBM Awards. These awards, driven by the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council, honor IT and finance leaders for their ingenuity, creativity, and contribution to the TBM discipline.

You can submit your nomination for an IT or finance leader, or an organization for recognition. But hurry - the TBM Council will be accepting submissions through June 28, 2015.

What are the TBM Awards?

TBM is a methodology and discipline for managing the business of IT. These awards recognize the profound impact that these technology leaders have on their organization by empowering operational excellence, business innovation, business transformation, and TBM best practices.

The TBM Awards were established to recognize strategic and operational excellence in five distinct areas:

  • Business Innovation: Recognizing CIOs, CTOs and CFOs who help their technology organizations drive or empower business innovation.
  • Infrastructure Trailblazing: Celebrating CTOs and/or SVPs of Infrastructure who have leveraged infrastructure engineering for a new level of business results.
  • IT Services Transformation: Honoring CIOs and other executives who have transformed IT from a technology-focused, order-taking organization into a strategic business partner that brings the value of IT to the business.
  • CFO of IT Excellence: Recognizing finance leaders with IT responsibilities who drive an IT financial strategy that matches the demands of the organization.
  • TBM Championship: Commending leaders who champion TBM initiatives, institutionalizing it as a methodology and functional role within their organizations.

Expert Panel of Judges

Winners will be highlighted during the TBM Conference 2015 on October 27 at the historic Field Museum in Chicago. Entries will be evaluated by a committee of industry-leading technologists in both academia and business. This year's judging panel includes:

  • Todd Tucker, General Manager, TBM Council
  • George Westerman, Research Scientist, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy
  • Martha Heller, President, Heller Search Associates
  • Carl Stumpf, Managing Director, CME Group
  • Alex Mueller-Herbst, Partner, ISG

Each year, we are blown away by the level of innovation and creativity Council members demonstrate through their application of the TBM discipline. I encourage you to nominate technology leaders that have demonstrated success in the award areas and seize the opportunity to be recognized among industry leaders and peers!