Welcome to my first post - I am the founder & CEO of Apptio and am starting to get my feet wet in the blogosphere. I wanted to start by telling you why I believe Technology Business Management will be the hottest thing in Enterprise IT in a few years, and why it’s unlike anything out there today.

I have visited over 150 C-level IT executives in the past 2 years.  We started Apptio after validating our concept with over 42 IT executives. After the validations, it became pretty clear that we had the opportunity to be Salesforce.com for enterprise CIOs. Every department within a corporation has a business management software system - HR -> HRM , Sales -> CRM, Manufacturing -> ERP, etc.  CIO's don't have an equivalent system to manage the business of technology.

Our customers and prospects are telling us that Apptio is truly a business management system for the CIO & IT leadership.  We are initially focused on helping CIO's understand the cost, value & quality of IT products & services, and communicating that to the business.  When you boil it all down, this is about maximizing the business value of IT.

As Apptio pioneers technology specific to this problem, traditional system management vendors are trying to morph and reposition their existing solutions into our space.  Some examples of this include HP Software, BMC Software, Service Now and other niche vendors that provide a service level management perspective.  If you talk to our customers - Expedia, Cisco, JP Morgan Chase, etc. - they will tell you that traditional systems management and technology business management are two separate disciplines and what they are trying to accomplish requires a radically new technology architecture that combines deep analytics, process automation, out of the box IT financial management expertise, and financial & IT operational data integration. Think of it like a system management company like BMC trying to do ERP.

Service and system management is all about managing IT from a service perspective (ITIL lifecycle - incident, problem, change) and a technology perspective (automation, monitoring, etc.) These solutions focus on individual components of technology or stages in the service lifecycle, and don’t have the data, analytics or collaborative process automation a business management solution requires.  A Service Desk system which is used to track incidents, problem, changes, cannot be used to solve this style of problem.  They are two different paradigms.

Technology Business Management is all about managing the cost, quality and value of IT products and services. Essentially, it's managing the supply chain of IT services.  As a result, customers are looking to Apptio to make business decisions (e.g. should I move to the cloud?, which applications should I rationalize?, which data centers are costing me more?, what are my biggest cost drivers and how do I reduce expense) and automate business and financial processes (budgeting & forecasting, provide Bill of IT to business users for “showback” or chargeback, capture demand of business) in one single architecture and model.  This requires a new technology architecture which consists of in memory BI for decision support, process automation applications, and out of box expertise for IT cost management.  Such a system needs to input and use IT operational, IT Service Management and Financial data.

We like all the noise the System Management vendors are creating as this validates Apptio vision, but they are fundamentally two different disciplines. It's been proven over the last several years that Technology Business Management requires a very focused approach to provide value to customers.