The 2004 book The New CIO Leader: Setting the Agenda and Delivering Results laid out the case—and the pathway—for transforming the CIO from an infrastructure manager into an influential executive with "all the prestige, respect, and responsibility of other senior executive positions." That was nearly ten years ago, but until now the notion of a "transformational CIO" has remained mostly the stuff of buzzwords and hype.
What changed? First, cloud computing, with its transparent costs and speed of adoption, has forced CIOs to change the way they communicate value to the business. At the same time, a confluence of technology, methodology, and community has emerged to light the way toward managing IT with business-style clarity and rigor. As a result, role of the CIO is finally, truly turning the corner.
The issue for IT professionals in general—and CIOs in particular—has been the inability to connect the cost of the services and capabilities they provide to the value they deliver. Where successful manufacturing organizations and supply chains can track product and supply costs at every step and precisely calculate the impact on the bottom line, IT has never had the tools to pinpoint expenses and analyze the resulting return on investment.
As a result, CIOs have been hard pressed to talk credibly about the value they deliver with their peers in the executive suite. And IT managers have lacked the data and insight needed to accurately balance the impact of costs on usage and service quality.
Today, an entirely new approach to IT management in the enterprise called Technology Business Management (TBM) is changing this situation. Developed by Apptio, a Bellevue, Washington based enterprise software company launched in 2007, TBM offers clear visibility into the unit costs for IT services and capabilities; a framework for reporting costs, usage, and value to business units; and standardized tools that dramatically improve forecasting, budgeting, and planning.
Apptio was founded by Sunny Gupta, a highly respected entrepreneur who previously led a number of successful startups, including Rational Software, Performant, and iConclude. He formed Apptio after a series of discussions with Fortune 500 CIOs made it clear that they all shared a common frustration—an inability to run IT like a business in which accountability for results is based on a clear understanding of the relationship between costs and value.