Today, I am thrilled to announce the public availability of the next major SaaS release of Apptio’s TBM (Technology Business Management) applications. The release contains significant new features that add functionality to our existing Cost Transparency Foundation and IT Benchmarking applications. More importantly, this release represents an important moment in time for Apptio.

The CIO-led TBM Council, a not-for-profit organization comprised of more than 1,300 CIOs and IT executives, voted in May 2014 to endorse ATUM as the standard model for IT. ATUM allows every IT organization to adopt a standard approach for managing the business of IT and includes standard cost, cost categories, service definitions and data models, along with hundreds of metric and breakout reports.

With the CIO-led TBM Council’s endorsement, Apptio has created the industry’s first standard IT operating model. This is a critical milestone for the industry – imagine a world where the operating model for every IT shop is common, so basic services in IT like compute, storage, networking can be easily compared from an apples-to-apples perspective;  every  CFO and board for an organization is receiving common metrics to provide transparency into IT. The model also allows customers to extend the base IT operating model to applications and business services that are specific to a vertical or a customer.

In today’s world where IT leaders are increasingly using business principles to run their IT organizations more like other service providers, IT leaders need the ability to model and analyze costs and other related metrics in a consistent manner. This includes the ability to compare towers, products and services to peers and third-party options (e.g., cloud). Just as US businesses rely on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (or GAAP) and global companies rely on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), IT leaders need a generally accepted way of reporting costs and other metrics.

This does not end with IT leaders. Finance leaders need the ability to generate meaningful KPIs and reports for IT to support value-based conversations with IT leaders, their business partners and other stakeholders. Additionally, line-of-business leaders need the ability to compare internal vs. external options.

But because there are no prevailing unified practices by which IT and finance leaders implement technology business management processes -- or practices for standardized modeling of costs and allocations -- it can be difficult to obtain consistent and repeatable models. That precludes, among other things, “apples to apples” comparisons across categories and in the field. This in turn makes it difficult to drive strategic business alignment (the goal of TBM) through true IT asset and services costing and benchmarking.

These needs are why we created Apptio as a company, and ultimately our suite of applications. CIOs must now act as the corporate leader who can manage the cost, quality and value of technology across the company. With Apptio’s new release, IT leaders now have a standard, proven model to integrate and evaluate 100% of their IT and cloud spend and automate peer benchmarking out-of-the-box.  

This is a game-changer for CIOs who recognize the importance of using facts and data-driven insights to make decisions about their IT spend. It’s essential that IT leaders have access to near real-time information about their spend in order to manage the business of IT and measure the cost, value, and quality of their investments.

Sample view of Apptio's Cost Transparency Foundation application.

New capabilities in today’s release

With today’s release, Apptio can now support the aggregation and allocation of on-premises and cloud services including Amazon Web Services billing data, management of third-party vendor spend, analysis of labor and project costs, and automated peer benchmarking.

The latest version of Apptio’s Cost Transparency Foundation (CTF) application now standardizes the IT cost categories and automates the integration and mapping of invoices for public cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services. Apptio also consolidates third-party vendor billing data to empower customers with insight into 100% of their IT spend, including cloud and traditional, on-premises, and hosted costs. CTF also provides granular analytics into projects, vendors and labor spend for IT.

Additionally, Apptio’s IT Benchmarking application now allows IT leaders to view ongoing, automated comparisons of IT costs against peer benchmarks tailored to company size, geography, and industry. IT Benchmarking extends CTF by leveraging the ATUM model to enable automatic and ongoing comparisons of actual spend against industry benchmarks.

Apptio makes all of this data actionable through platform enhancements including out-of-the-box KPIs, mobile-friendly reports, hundreds of common metric and breakout reports, new data visualizations, and powerful self-service analytics.

The team at Apptio will be blogging more over the coming weeks to give deep dives into the new functionality, so stay tuned for more information. We hope you’re as excited about this release as we are.