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European CIOs establish committee to drive IT value in business

Technology Business Council creates a European arm to help CIOs get the best value and efficiency from their IT assets

The European Technology Business Management (TBM) Executive Committee (Etec) of the Technology Business Council for IT chiefs will hold its inaugural meeting next week.

The group aims to work with European organisations to develop and evolve a framework to help IT leaders communicate the business value of technology investments.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Debra Bailey, former CIO at Nationwide Building Society and TBM Council Etec member, said: “We have shared experiences, and focus on business value to help other people on the journey.”

Bailey said the TBM tries to maximise the value of IT in business from the top down by helping IT leaders understand the IT services needed to enable business outcomes. “We look at where you are spending money and where you should be spending money,” she said.

This involves using data from comments and complaints as well as core financial costs to understand the true cost of IT, based on IT infrastructure and licences, she added.

Once the true end-to-end cost of running IT is understood, CIOs can decide where to reduce costs and improve efficiency. In Bailey’s experience, understanding how various constituent parts fit into an overall IT architecture that fulfils a business objective enables senior IT decision-makers to work with IT architects to simplify the infrastructure, freeing up cost.

“Much of the savings we made at Nationwide was in software licensing because a lot of software wasn’t being utilised fully,” she said.

Understanding cost in one of the key metrics in aligning IT with business objectives, said Bailey. “Gaining a transparent view of our IT costs and identifying how best to invest in new technologies that will serve our customers has grown much more efficient due to the practices and frameworks that TBM lays down.

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“The TBM Council’s announcement of a new European Executive Council is welcomed by the whole community and will allow organisations across the region to collaborate and further their understanding of TBM even more.”

The increasing use of public cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) as components of progressively more agile business practices increases the complexity and quantity of business requirements placed on CIOs and their teams. The Etec said it aims to address these challenges and work to provide TBM Council members with standards and education to help connect technology investments to multidimensional business value.

Bailey said: “Some of the organisations I have worked in have grown through acquisitions and are littered with technology debt. Lots of people are using cloud to address security and efficiency challenges. You have to understand your IT estate to know where the connections are and how the data flows. This demands an understanding of what you have in your IT estate.”

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