How IT leaders can implement small-scale change for long-term benefits

The popularity of cloud is self-evident. A recent IDC report showed that spending on shared cloud infrastructure reached $13B in Q3 2021, an increase of 3.6 percent from Q3 2020. Additionally, according to IDC projections, cloud spending in 2021 is expected to have increase by 8.3 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. Cloud adoption of is no longer a competitive differentiator, particularly in the wake of the pandemic rush to digitization. 

Business success is in the details. Large transformation initiatives such as cloud may be appealing, but in today’s climate of digital parity, these projects may not deliver the return on cost and time invested which leaders desire. To stand out amongst competitors, business leaders need to shift their focus from complete digital transformation to smaller, more incremental evolution.

These smaller-scale shifts will focus on continuously refining the technology stacks that they already have in place to ensure that they are getting the most out of their investments. The challenge that comes with this evolutionary approach is that it requires a culture of measurement and analysis that many organizations don’t have.

Data for evolution: the TBM way

So how can IT leaders take that next evolutionary step? For a start, by looking to frameworks like Technology Business Management (TBM) and FinOps. A key challenge of making iterative updates to a technology stack is that of measurement.

The gathering and sorting of this intricate data through traditional spreadsheets and other financial practices can be time consuming and prone to error. While aligning technology investment to business goals is seen as highly important amongst IT decision-makers, few have the confidence in their data to make these judgements. TBM helps leaders have the right processes and tools in place so that they can interpret the information around usage of specific services and assess them against their business objectives.

Similarly, for refining cloud infrastructure, business leaders can look to FinOps practices to simplify the sorting of data associated with cloud. This encourages them to treat cloud spending as a driver of business value by applying financial management processes which are specifically adapted to cloud.

Without these frameworks, IT leaders risk making decisions which don’t best serve the overall needs of the business. A recent report surveying TBM Council members found their organizations are significantly more likely (63 percent and 37 percent) to agree or strongly agree that TBM has helped them improve the data they use for day-to-day operations. TBM maturity is also closely correlated to both financial and non-financial benefits. With the comprehensive insights provided by these practices, optimizing and refining existing tech stacks to align with business goals can be done with confidence.

The impact of these practices is evidence that a focus on refining your advanced technology stacks which you have in place is the most sensible approach. This long-term, evolutionary mindset to development goes hand-in-hand with clear, detailed data. TBM and FinOps frameworks offer leaders a clear path towards ensuring the availability of this data for insight-driven decisions, resulting in optimized technology investments. It is time to make digital transformation sustainable and stable.

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Henrik Nilsson leads Apptio’s business in EMEA and is a member of its Global Operational Leadership Team. Since joining Apptio in 2013, Henrik has had the opportunity to work with IT leaders from more than 200 European organizations. Before Apptio, Henrik spent 13 years at CA Technologies, holding several executive sales and management positions, including Regional Director of Enterprise Solutions. 

Author: Martha Meyer