I cannot believe Apptio has hit its 15th anniversary. It is hard to believe how fast time has gone. Just 15 years ago, Kurt, our three other co-founders, and I were brainstorming ideas in our basements, the Bellevue Library, and the Madrona Venture Group offices.
Our ambition from day one was always big and bold: We wanted to change the IT industry. Our dream was not tainted with any hubris. We knew defining and building a new category — Technology Business Management (TBM) — would be hard. (And it was.) But we could not have imagined the spectacular impact of the first 15 years of Apptio.
We have changed the professional lives of our customers. IT is no longer viewed as a back-office function but as a function that creates value for every enterprise. IT leaders, as a result of Apptio, have freed up capital in their tech budgets to reinvest it to drive more innovation and change the conversation from cost to value to their business counterparts. They can make data-driven decisions around the consumption of IT. They can confidently embark on cloud-first/FinOps and digital-first strategies and know that Apptio is behind the scenes to care for everything. All of this has been possible because of the dedication of many Apptians who have persevered, and always overcome, the biggest challenges so our customers can win and succeed in their transformation journeys.
Building a community of TBM practitioners
We spent a lot of time in our early years simply explaining the TBM discipline and building a community of practitioners and converts. There was no shortcut to doing that. Person by person, company by company, we spoke to every technology leader we could find to test our ideas and keep improving our TBM solutions. Many of these leaders have gone on to become Apptio customers. In some cases, many times over, they moved to different companies bringing the TBM discipline (and Apptio solutions) along with them. Over time, our advocacy has been picked up in the analyst community. Apptio Cloudability was recently named a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: Cloud Cost Management and Optimization, Q3 2022 report.
Our customers have always provided us with the pointiest and loudest feedback. Our strength comes from hearing these voices and acting on them. That is as true in 2022 as it was in 2007. Our customers continue to influence Apptio’s product roadmap and, crucially, in our early days, helped us pivot from building bespoke TBM solutions for each customer to quick time-to-value applications for everyone. This feedback always hits home at our annual TBM Conference. It’s always inspiring to hear how our customers use Apptio. This year, after a couple of years as a virtual event, we are back for an in-person in Austin, Texas. I hope to see many of you there — register here.
I want to thank so many of our customers along the journey specifically. There are just simply too many names to call out. We wouldn’t be here without your commitment and faith in us. You trusted us and bet on us as your transformational partner.
Apptio’s success has been built on teamwork
I am proud that our drive to improve and meet our customers’ needs is as strong today as it was 15 years ago. Our earliest employees would take customer input to build early versions of our software — bringing feedback to the product teams, so we could continuously improve. Our maniacal focus on making our customers wildly successful is embodied in our expansive partner community, including KPMG, Maryville, Accenture, Advocate, AWS, Microsoft, and many others. I want to say thank you to all our partners and their immense contributions.
We have together created a software category that will transcend our lifetimes. IT will now always be managed by TBM and FinOps principles. Fifteen years in, we haven’t quenched our thirst for customer feedback. When we started in 2007, cloud solutions were barely a category, and IT innovation was primarily locked up in project spending. Today, technology leaders are being called upon by the C-Suite to use the cloud and product-led development to reimagine new business models. We keep pace with these changes through the collaboration between our customers, employees, and partner community. It has been an incredible, enriching journey for all of us.
Apptio always looks forward
My vision 15 years from now is for Apptio to be as ubiquitous as Google. Leaders will explain transformational change with a simple phrase (“We Apptio’d our technology organization”) known by hundreds of thousands of Apptio customers to mean the road most taken by organizations re-imagining their business models with technology.
The Apptio culture has always focused on looking toward the future with an unwavering commitment to our customers and their feedback. Celebrating or reflecting on past Apptio achievements feels a little out of character. But there are times along any journey when it is only right to stop and say “thank you” to your travel companions. I am grateful for all those who have been with us in our first 15 years — let’s keep on going into the next 15.