When Apptio was first founded, the company was a small group of intrepid pioneers embarking on a new and exciting journey. The company was joined by a few passionate, ambitious customers who were dedicated to changing the way that the modern IT department was managed.

Seven years, more than 200 customers, and 500 employees later, Technology Business Management (TBM) is now the gold standard for managing the business of IT. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen an influx of validation from industry leaders and influencers like FORTUNE, the Harvard Business Review (HBR), and Gartner that I wanted to share today as further proof of Apptio’s positive market momentum. 

Apptio’s CEO, Sunny Gupta recently had the opportunity to share his views on the state of IT with FORTUNE magazine’s enterprise newsletter, Data Sheet. He asserted that the modern CIO must act as if they are the CEO of an independent technology business to successfully transform IT into a strategic asset to the business. Just like CEOs, IT leaders need deep insight into their costs so they can invest wisely and bring their organizations to the next level of innovation. 

Image of IT Benchmarking, one of Apptio’s core capability differentiators. 

The Modern CIO's Role in Innovation

There isn’t an industry out there today that’s not driving towards innovation. Comments from Intel’s CIO Kim Stevenson in a recent ZDNet piece underscore this point. Stevenson rightly “observed that every business and industry is in some kind of ‘disruptive state’ right now,” and that, “if you're not a tech company, the best people to do that is the IT team."

The modern CIO is in a unique position, tasked with harnessing the disruption occurring throughout the technology industry to enable innovation. In today’s shifting landscape, IT now has the potential to lead the business. 

We’re not the only ones who sees the connection between costs and innovation. A recent HBR Analytics survey of global business and technology leaders found that 57% of respondents viewed IT as an investment that drives innovation and growth. By the way, only 10% of respondents actually came from IT. If innovation isn’t on your agenda then think about prioritizing IT to transform your operations and manage costs; just under half said they saw IT as necessary to do so. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that we are at a turning point in how organizations are being run and managed. This is even more significant for the IT organization. IT can no longer be thought of as the order-taker because in today’s world, IT holds the keys to our digital future. Every business is now a technology business and we must manage this transition accordingly. 

Managing the Digital Enterprise Through ITFM

On that note, there’s one additional piece of validation that I wanted to share. A recent report from Gartner, titled “Market Guide for IT Financial Management Tools.”* In particular, the report states that “taking IT financial management initiatives to the next level will require a system of automation to maintain IT cost models, aggregate current cost data, provide cost transparency, improve budgeting and forecasting and demonstrate business value.” Naturally, we couldn’t agree more.

As Robert Naegle, the report’s author, states: IT leaders should “invest in a dedicated ITFM tool to facilitate dynamic data aggregation, cost modeling, reporting and analysis processes.” 

Gartner also outlines nine capabilities that were used to evaluate each vendor included in the Market Guide. We think anyone considering implementing a TBM solution should consider these factors as well. According to Gartner, the key capabilities used to consider the capabilities of IT financial management solutions include: 

  • Cost model design and flexibility
  • Data import and storage (ETL)
  • Analysis and reporting
  • Budget and forecasting
  • Performance dashboards
  • Decision analytics
  • Benchmarking
  • System/tool integration
  • Service definition and design

I am thrilled that Apptio has been included among this year’s list of representative vendors in the report. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting a series of blogs to provide insight into the most important capabilities IT leaders need in each of these areas. We hope this series sheds light on questions you might have about TBM and some of the application features that we consider important for IT leaders. 

Let us know if there are any specific areas you’d like to make sure we cover— our goal is help spread knowledge about TBM solutions and expand on the foundation laid down by Gartner’s recent research. 

We’re looking forward to your feedback along the way, so feel free to chime in below.


*Gartner, Inc., Market Guide for IT Financial Management Tools, Robert Naegle and Tapati Bandopadhyay, Sept. 5, 2014. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.