As a founding member and the technical advisor to the TBM Council, we’re really excited to see the thought leadership coming out of that nonprofit community. Today the Council released a paper entitled “The Business Technology Value Scorecard: Moving from Transaction Orientation to Outcome Orientation.” CIOs have long recognized that a language gap exists between IT and its business-side stakeholders, making it difficult for the business value of technology to be clearly communicated and understood. Working with the TBM Council and drawing upon its extensive research in the area of CIO dashboards, Forrester Consulting conducted a study to identify a set of metrics to help fill the language gap.

In interviews, technology leaders were asked to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) they currently use and how they would change them, while business leaders were asked to identify KPIs that would most clearly account for technology’s value contribution to business outcomes. The interviews confirm the sizable disconnect between IT and business leaders, with CIOs communicating mostly in terms of operational- and transactional-level metrics, while business leaders want to measure technology’s impact on the company’s strategic objectives in terms of finances, agility, and customer satisfaction. This language gap often leads to unfair assumptions, misalignment, missed expectations, and the eventual commoditization of IT in the enterprise.

The “Business Technology Value Scorecard” paper proposes four categories of KPIs as the basis for a common language of metrics between IT leaders and their business partners. It’s like a Rosetta stone for IT leaders who must make the inevitable shift to become business leaders in their own rights. I can’t wait to see how this conversation progresses when we all meet at the TBM Conference next month!