Fortune 500 CIOs Share Tech Business Management Secrets

CIOs from Facebook, DIRECTV, First American, Cox Enterprises, T-Mobile and Xerox are among the contributors to an interactive book, “Technology Business Management: How Innovative Technology Leaders Apply Business Acumen to Drive Value.”

Published by the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council — a non-profit group of Fortune 500 leaders dedicated to helping CIOs run IT as a business – the book aims to help companies manage the finances and business of IT. The book’s first chapter debuted July 23 and is available for download directly from the TBM Councilor in the iTunes Bookstore.

The first chapter of the book also incorporates the TBM Index, intended to be an openly available benchmark for how CIOs are implementing the group’s best-practice recommendations.

The TBM Council is a non-profit entity made up of 13 CIO board members “who are supporting a vision for a new discipline: How to run IT like a business within a business,” says Chris Pick, President of the TBM Council.

He adds: “That is a fundamental gap in how IT is being treated within business today. If you think of IT as having raw materials, how do you organize those into IT products or applications, and how do you convey what they are into something that the business understands? How you monetize that, or put value on that? [We’re talking about] running IT like supply chain management, where there is a supply side for these raw components (IT services) and a buy-side (business). This way, business can understand what they’re buying at a particular price.”

The TBM Council emerged from a twice-yearly summit sponsored by technology management vendor Apptio. Membership is open to any qualifying CIO or senior IT executive. So far, 545 members have signed up, according to Pick.

The Council’s objectives are to publish a generally accepted body of knowledge and create industry-specific guidelines to facilitate benchmarking against and adoption of TBM practices. Over the next 18 months the group will be releasing 10 online chapters for its book, and will be looking to members and readers to provide input for the evolving body of work, notes Pick.

“When we were debating the concept of what TBM should do, we talked to 55 CIOs in the process,” says Pick. What the organizers learned is that there are significant organization change management issues that need to be addressed in IT:

  • How you position the IT organization
  • How you adopt understanding of overall IT services transformation
  • What are the roles you need
  • What performance metrics do you need?

In forming the council, the goal was to bring in a mix of CIO disciplines, says Pick, including those who report to their CEO and work at organizations where technology is seen as catalyst, as well as those who report to the CFO and work at organizations where technology is seen as a cost center.

According to the organization’s Web site, the TBM Council discussions often center on IT financial transparency and fiscal discipline, but extend to related topics such as cloud computing, application rationalization, infrastructure optimization and more.

The TBM Council aims to advance technology business management practices through workgroup-driven projects: Teams of individuals committed to sharing and collaborating to provide useful tools and resources that others can use to benefit and advance their organizations.

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