Traits That Predict IT Success During Disruption

Apptio and the TBM Council issued a warm welcome this morning to the virtual TBM Conference (TBMC20) attendees. Jarod Greene, general manager of the TBM Council and VP of product marketing at Apptio, is this year’s emcee, so he got the party started.

Greene’s role puts him at the center of conversations with Apptio customers and other TBM practitioners. So, he’s heard a lot this year about which companies are struggling, which are thriving during the current crisis – and why. So in his opening presentation, Greene addressed predictors of IT success during disruption.

Disruption isn't a new challenge

Although COVID is top of mind for everyone, it isn’t the only disruption that organizations face. During his presentation, Greene quoted Gartner’s 2020 CIO Survey, which was taken prior to the pandemic. That survey found that 90% of CIOs surveyed said that their business had suffered at least one major disruption in the last 4 years.

Gartner CIO Survey

The ability to manage that disruption has become a critical capability for competitive organizations.

Organizations that see the disruption as an opportunity will ultimately perform better than those that don’t.

In Greene’s conversations with customers and other TBM practitioners, he found another good characteristic of a healthy, resilient organization — a healthy TBM practice. “Organizations that have implemented TBM at scale were able to manage disruption more effectively, which didn’t save them time and frustration – it quite literally has helped them save the business,” said Greene.

These organizations “evolved from spreadsheets and homegrown tools to clarify and analyze spend with purpose-built technology financial management solutions from Apptio,” he explained.

But he knew that sometimes it’s more impactful when you hear the story from someone who’s been on the front lines. To help tell that story, Greene introduced his guest, Paris Forest, the director of IT and Data Analytics (DA) strategy and operation solutions for the Boeing Company.

Boeing + TBM/Apptio = IT success

Forest was asked to lead IT and DA’s transformation from project-oriented delivery to product-centric delivery. Part of that journey was the introduction of TBM, a methodology that was new to both Forest and Boeing. She tells the story of how she and her team learned and applied TBM methodology to organize and deliver the work of IT.

They began with work to align and standardize the business taxonomy to the TBM taxonomy and simultaneously worked on the data model inside of their digital solution. Forest said, “What we were able to do when it was time to bring these two things together was nothing short of remarkable.”

“In just 60 days, we went from zero visibility across a six-layered discipline to full visibility,” Forest said. And full visibility means a lot. In that first executive view, they showed:

  • What they bill to the lines of business and the enterprise.
  • How IT and DA are spending across all of the service and product portfolios.
  • A view into the investment profile — both enterprise and business unit.
  • How applications are split across multiple capabilities.
  • Visibility into what current IT and DA budget was spent on maintaining the technical infrastructure of the applications.

With that visibility, Forest’s team can now answer very specific questions. Before, decisions would have been made based on what they “thought.” “Now we’re making decisions according to what we know,” she said.

Make sure you watch the entire session (Welcome and Opening) to hear what Forest and her team were able to accomplish in the next 60 days.

Clearly, Boeing is poised to manage disruption, which Greene reminded attendees not to be afraid of. He said, “CIOs at these organizations used this disruption to address what's really been holding them back - resistance to change and the fear of transparency.”

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