Where has Technology Business Management gone?

After an active period of adopting Technology Business Management as a financial control system, the industry has relaxed somewhat. But this governance methodology remains more relevant than ever.

Since 2012, there has been much talk about TPM, Technology Business Management, which is a data-driven framework that would help establish and manage IT budgets, consumption levels and their value. The expected benefits of the TPM seemed unexpected 4 years ago: financial transparency, access to data and above all the promise to make informed decisions, or to analyze the consequences of decisions made in the past.

A new world opened up to us, one that will undoubtedly change the way companies look at IT: TPM’s discipline would change the perception of IT from a dull necessity to a function valued for its ability to create value. We thought the TPM would enable the industry to make progress and improve standards. Given the rapid advancement of technology, if you had asked these representatives where we would be four years later, they would have told you that TPM discipline would be an integral part of the alignment between business and IT and would be perfectly positioned to support of the transition to digital.

Where are we today?

In 2016, however, the same topics were still on the agenda: savings linked to legacy infrastructures, aligning mobile tariffs with consumption and improving asset utilization. All these considerations, of course, deserve our attention and are necessary to build operational credibility. But we should already be reaping the benefits of the systematic and widespread adoption of TPM best practices. We should consider the next evolution, the role of the Software Defined Enterprise, cloud brokerage and orchestration models, service defined architecture. We need to pay attention to the impact of increased spending on digital technologies beyond the IT perimeter and the growing importance of data-driven governance in managing this changing and complex environment.

In its current form, TPM has entered a period of stagnation because suppliers and customers have not further developed the service. After an active period in which TPM was adopted as a financial control system, the sector has loosened up somewhat. But faced with the tsunami of digital innovations and the many changes they bring, companies now need to see things more clearly to prepare for the disruptions to come. To seize the opportunities that new technologies will bring to light, companies absolutely need to be able to rely on a solid foundation with strict governance rules and rigorous controls of operations, based on integrated and up-to-date data, which makes strategy possible.

We know that to properly apply the TPM principles, it is necessary to adapt the business model, management and organizational style of the company and even rethink the definition and delivery of IT services. These are not insurmountable challenges, but when it comes to looking beyond and incorporating TPM practices into an approach to support and amplify the coming digital disruption, companies seem to be running into an obstacle.

This is all the more important as the distinction between services provided by IT and services acquired directly by the business is blurring. Where IT may have been seen as the preferred solution to address certain challenges, services are now defined in terms of results, with decision makers unconcerned about terms of delivery as long as the problem is resolved. In such an environment, IT must demonstrate more than ever its value to the business, otherwise it risks being ignored.

We know that technology can facilitate the execution of any company’s business strategy by automating processes, innovating products and services, and engaging with customers. But unless the IT organization demonstrates its added value at all levels of emerging technologies, its representatives will lose their authority and will be less called upon to define technology specifications, application needs, and ultimately business strategy.

Delivering value should be the ambition of every IT organization, at all levels of a company’s hierarchy. To claim a higher level of engagement, we need to consider TPM’s consideration of changing business models and new service delivery terms, as well as how the framework can provide the insights needed to drive the digital business, Digital Business Management , to manage.

We hope that in subsequent discussions on this topic, a more ambitious TPM vision will emerge, which is more open to innovation than to recycling. A version of the TPM approach capable of defining the future and pragmatically aligning business and IT, rather than focusing on optimizing companies’ storage capacity as the only way to survive. If the TPM approach is not discussed further, it risks being reduced to an IT tool for financial management. If not, it could play an important role in setting the conditions for managing technology in the new world of digital business. The company has perfected its approach to technology management, now it is technology management’s turn to perfect its approach to creating value for the company.

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