Apptio Helps Barilla Expand IT Cost Awareness Across the Organization

“We didn’t even have to wait until the end of the project to see benefits from working through our challenges and implementing Apptio.”

Barilla is a family-owned Italian food company that specializes in pasta, sauces, and bakery products. Founded in 1877 by Pietro Barilla, the company has grown from a small bread and pasta shop in Parma, Italy, to a global business operation with 19 brands, 30 production sites, and over 8,500 employees. Today, the company delivers two million tons of goods annually, and its products can be found in more than 100 countries.

Evolving to meet the needs of a growing business

Barilla has a centralized IT department that governs all IT solutions for the company. For the last several years, as part of the company’s ongoing digital transformation, the company has been working to modernize its IT systems, including implementing a new ERP system and onboarding all of the various legal entities that make up the organization.

“The business has changed and grown, and this has brought new challenges to the IT department,” said Simone Lonoce, IT strategy, performance & capabilities director at Barilla.

One of those challenges was IT financial management. Historically, Barilla considered IT a cost center and had no method of allocating costs back to its business units or regions. In 2017, the company’s IT leaders began to implement a chargeback process. But the effort fell short of their expectations because they lacked the proper toolset to accomplish it.

This led them to search for financial management software that would help them increase visibility and awareness of IT costs across the organization, keep recurring costs under control, find areas for cost reduction, and make it easy to perform total cost of ownership and benchmark analysis.

Barilla selects Apptio

Barilla’s IT leaders evaluated multiple products and determined Apptio was the best fit for the organization. According to Lonoce, the team selected Apptio because they were impressed with the product’s standardized IT cost model and framework; its large repository of reports for finance, IT, and business users; and the ease of integration.

Barilla began implementation of Apptio in June 2021.

“We had a really clear focus for our project,” said Lonoce. “Our goals were to leverage TBM to enhance our communication with the business and to identify opportunities to rationalize applications and services.”

“The implementation team faced a few challenges during the project,” Lonoce said. First, Apptio helped them identify several gaps in the corporate data, which they were able to correct for a more complete financial understanding of their environment. They also faced a challenge implementing rules and classifications within the Applications and Services and Business Unit layers of the framework. “With the help of Apptio’s technical experts providing advice and ideas,” Lonoce said, “they were able to design an implementation that met all of Barilla’s needs.”

Immediate benefits with an outlook for more

Barilla deployed Apptio organization-wide in April 2022. But according to Lonoce, the company began experiencing positive results long before the go-live day. “We didn’t even have to wait until the end of the project to see benefits from working through our challenges and implementing Apptio,” he said.

One immediate benefit of implementing Apptio was that the Barilla team was able to quickly identify errors in their cost classification, procurement processes, and general ledger. “It was unbelievable how many layers of activities and processes we had and enlightening to see the actual cost base of some items,” Lonoce said. “Apptio made this easier to see.”

The second benefit of Apptio was that it brought to light shadow IT costs that were previously hidden. “We thought we had this under control, but we understood it less than we thought,” Lonoce said. Lonoce believes Apptio will help them discover redundant applications across the organization, which will enable them to optimize and consolidate the company’s portfolio and reduce costs.

Another early benefit of Apptio was reporting. As a large organization, Lonoce said, it is not uncommon for one vendor to have different contracts with multiple legal entities within the company. But prior to Apptio, they didn’t have a holistic view of those expenses. He said Apptio resolved this challenge by providing reports that showed the aggregated spending by vendor.

Lastly, Lonoce believes Apptio has helped increase awareness of IT costs and of the importance of properly performing administrative tasks and creating and maintaining company-wide repositories like application lists, allocation drivers and rules, and standard taxonomy. “The more good, reliable data we have means we can ingest it faster and take action on it,” he said.

Next steps

Barilla has already experienced many benefits from implementing Apptio. But as Lonoce said, they are just getting started. The next step for them is to increase adoption of Apptio across the organization and then further explore the benefits of the software.

“By increasing visibility and awareness, we plan to elevate the discussion with our business owners about technology cost and value,” he said. “And we expect to find opportunities for optimization and for increasing efficiencies. I’m sure we will be able to leverage Apptio to be more cost effective across the company.”

For more information about IBM Apptio, visit

Additional Resources