2018 State of the Global Technology Economy

Top performing IT leaders grow technology spend 3X faster, earn 20% higher operating margins, and embrace Technology Business Management (TBM) practices.

Apptio is pleased to release a new report designed to help IT leaders get buy-in from executives for best-in-class technology spending practices.

According to the State of the Global Technology Economy report, a business’s technology spend offers leverage to grow top line revenues, improve operational efficiency, and drive higher operating margins. The study supports the growing shift from IT as a cost-center to IT as a value-center.

In this report, we examine research from Dr. Howard Rubin on the global growth of technology spend and the spending patterns behind the highest performing companies. We also share best practices used by these top performers to maximize the business value of their spend.

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Key Findings:

Top performers spend more and get better business results

Top performers (top 10% of companies by operating margin) exhibit very different patterns from average performers. They have technology spending growth rates of 3x the average performer, and operating margins 2-3x that of average performers.

Top performers direct more dollars to “grow and transform”

Compared to average performers, the top performers invest 25% more of their technology dollars on growing and transforming their business, 55% more on technology relative to their operating expense, and 46% more on technology per employee.

Top performers adopt Technology Business Management (TBM)

100% of the top performers studied leverage the principles of TBM to ensure their technology dollars are spent wisely and deliver the most value to the business.


The research was conducted by Dr. Howard Rubin and his benchmarking consultancy, Rubin Worldwide. Dr. Rubin’s research provides a depth of technology economics research that is unmatched in the IT industry. This report analyzes 25 years of technology spending data from more than 3,000 companies across the globe to identify patterns in best-in-class technology spending.

For more information on how to integrate ongoing benchmarking into your practice, check out Apptio’s IT Benchmarking application.

Additional Resources