Recent Posts


In my role as the president of the TBM Council, I was very privileged to be asked to chair (and serve as MC) of this year’s IT Financial Management conference in Chicago last week. To help me with this, I mobilized a CFO of IT Advisory Board of some of the best tech CFOs in the industry: FSI industry luminary Suzette Unger of Goldman Sachs, the ever-practical Chris Levitt from Con-way, long-time TBM expert Usman Ghani from Volkswagen Credit, Randall Pfeifer from US Bank – who wrote his MBA thesis on TBM, and the always entertaining and wickedly smart Carl Stumpf from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.


By a wide margin, the top two barriers were resource constraints (time and people) and budget constraints. This is why Apptio's brand promise is about making innovation possible. Process and programs are important, but innovation is simply not possible without the time, people and money to make it happen.


Last week eBay made headlines with a powerful bit of thought leadership, releasing a white paper called the Digital Service Efficiency report. According to the article in GigaOm, “the company has boiled its business down to a single currency—transactions (specifically URL requests) associated with users’ buying and selling on the site—and created a slew of metrics that measure how efficiently it delivers those transactions in terms of revenue, performance, cost and carbon footprint.”


Last week I had the honor to speak to the executive MBA program at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Matt McIlwain, managing director at Madrona Venture Group co-teaches a course on venture capital there and asked me to discuss my experiences creating sustainable professional communities in emerging IT disciplines. While the students were most interested in how communities are created, the dialogue reminded me of why I have always been so passionate about this subject.


Last Friday I had the honor of presenting to a Research Board gathering of about 20 CFOs of IT from Fortune 100 companies like McDonalds, Toyota, and Shell and a couple of our customers, Kaiser Permanente and Chevron. Due to my experience through Apptio and the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council, I was asked to discuss the role of financial decision making in enabling IT-led innovation.


Last week, 350+ Apptio employees from around the globe met in Bellevue to kick off our new year. As in years past, we shared strategic direction, set goals, provided  lots of training and the usual stuff. It was an amazing event.


Five years ago, we began our journey with a single question for CIOs: what is the biggest obstacle to your success for which there is no ready solution? The answer surprised us. It was not a technology problem, a compliance issue, a skills shortage, or even the impact of cloud computing. Instead, these CIOs told us they needed a better way to manage their technology investments.


A few years ago, we brought together CIOs from some of our early adopter customers to provide guidance to new customers who were just starting on their Technology Business Management journey. What started initially as a user group for our CIO community quickly grew into the CIO TBM Council.


In his new role as state CIO, Bharat is responsible for an IT budget approaching $1 billion. And like other state governments, the State of Washington is looking under every couch cushion to find innovative solutions to balance a top heavy budget in this difficult economic environment. The challenges facing the State of Washington are by no means unique and practically every other state government is encountering similar issues: dozens of disconnected agencies with no direct budgetary oversight, an aging IT workforce that will soon be retiring, and siloed infrastructure components that are not being fully optimized, to name but a few.


Cloud computing continues transforming IT in new and perhaps unexpected ways. As Arthur Cole explains in his recent article, The Changing Face of IT Infrastructure: “The cloud is rightly described as another abstraction on top of an already abstracted, virtualized data environment. And yet those abstractions are resulting in significant consequences to the real IT world that are only beginning to be understood.”


In passing the HITECH Act as part of ARRA in 2009, the government had two primary goals: Moving physicians who have been slow to migrate from paper-based patient records to an electronic medical record (EMR) system, and ensuring that patient data no longer sits in a silo, but instead is actively exchanged between health care professionals to enable better quality care. As such, Congress allocated $34 billion in investments that have served to catapult health care IT budgets to the highest of any industry (at 5.4% cost of revenue).


Results from a new IBM study of more than 3,000 global CIOs confirm what we at Apptio have known for some time: Cloud computing, BI, and analytics are going to prove essential to increasing competitiveness over the next three to five years.


Cloud computing continues to be one of the most hyped topics in technology today. While businesses remain hesitant to adopt the cloud for a number of reasons (security, governance, etc), the cloud has emerged as a legitimate and credible option for companies who are looking to drive costs out of their IT organization and dynamically scale their IT infrastructure. To fully understand the cloud, and how it fits with your business, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends coming out of the industry. If you’re using the cloud, considering the cloud, or just confused about the cloud – these journalists, pundits, and analysts are all worth a close read.


Recently I had the opportunity to facilitate one of our regional Transform Roundtables in Chicago with the CIO of VW Credit, Kari VenderVeen, and her Manager of IT Finance and Performance, Usman Ghani. Attending this roundtable event were five other companies who were interested in understanding how VW Credit shaped their TBM initiative and where they plan to take it in the years ahead. VW Credit has derived significant value since deploying the Apptio solution and Kari and Usman used this forum to enumerate both the quantitative and qualitative benefits of their TBM project.


We’re at the Forrester IT Forum today and are very excited to announce the launch of “Spring Release 2011” which has been many months in the making.