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How to Leverage the TBM Taxonomy for IT Tools Rationalization

January 23, 2020

Image Source: TBM Taxonomy via TBM Council

Imagine that you are trying to optimize your electricity bill. You would make some logical adjustments. You’d stop leaving lights on, adjust the thermostat, and keep a close eye on windows and doors. 

Now imagine, when you received your bill the next month, the bill went up. It’d be pretty natural for your eyebrow to raise and to start asking questions. But, when you called the utility company for the explanation imagine they told you that different forms of electrical production had different costs, that your home was a long way from the production facility and that others in your neighborhood made changes to their homes that required additional electrical capacity that affected your bill.  Being as all of these factors are out of your control, so imagine your shock when you ask, “what should I expect in the coming months?” and the representative says that because they were out of production capacity and are building a new facility you should expect your costs to go up next month. Your next question would be pretty logical, “ummm, ok, so how much?” Their answer, “it’s not so simple. We don’t know yet.” Almost all of us would reply, with “huh?!?” This would present a difficult financial planning problem and realization that your energy costs are completely out of your control.

While the above is far from a perfect metaphor for business use of IT, the truth is that aligning technology spend with consumption has always been a difficult challenge.  The sheer number of technology components, vendors and people necessary to deliver business services creates a maze of costs, many of which are hidden to IT leaders. Add to it the complexity that much of this technology is shared across multiple business services in different amounts and it is no surprise that there isn’t a simple answer when business service consumers ask how their behavior impacts cost.  This is an age old problem in IT resulting in contentious conversations about growing spend and lack of visibility into IT costs making the business planning and budgeting process very difficult.

The Technology Business Management Framework (TBMF) was developed to address this problem.  Through a layered approach, the TBMF prescribes a taxonomy and method to map costs from their sources to uses.  Starting with Costs Pools and flowing through IT Towers, Products & Services, and ultimately Business Capabilities the framework supports business reporting and planning conversations between IT and Business leadership.

Tools are a significant contributor to IT costs that for all intents and purposes “keep the lights on”.  And it is no secret that there is an abundance of IT Tools on the market that are in use in large enterprise IT shops.  It is also not a secret that many of the tools and their features go unused becoming shelf-ware. And even worse that many are not meeting the requirements of users and have redundant functionality with other tools.  This is a condition known as Tool Sprawl and is a leading problem that results in wasted IT budget. To combat tool sprawl, the team at RedMonocle developed a platform and taxonomy to automate IT tool rationalization for the entire IT tool portfolio. To support IT leaders in making informed tool rationalization decisions the RedMonocle platform delivers powerful analytics around 3 primary dimensions:  products – the tools used to operate business services, functions – what the tools actually do and categories – the IT areas the tools support in delivering business services.  

The goal was for IT leaders to finally be able to answer three core questions: what tools are we using, how much do they cost and where am I wasting money? The best part is that RedMonocle allows an IT leader to rationalize their tools in as little as 48 hours, a project that typically takes weeks to months. This transparency improves the financial discipline and rigor used to make decisions about the most efficient use of IT Tools and can easily help an organization save up to 20% of their IT tool budget. 

But that wasn’t enough for us. The team at RedMonocle wanted to go one step further in helping IT leaders rationalize their tools with ease. We identified the TBM Framework as the best taxonomy available on the market. As a result, we went all in and recently made adjustments to realign RedMonocle’s categories with the TBM taxonomy. This shift empowers users of RedMonocle to make more informed decisions about their IT tool infrastructure using a framework IT leaders already know and trust. The platform can now deliver costs information and performance metrics in the context of the IT Towers that a user’s tool portfolio supports. This provides further alignment and understanding of how the portfolio of IT Tools supports the delivery of business services and improves visibility and transparency into true IT costs.

We are excited to empower IT leaders with the information they need to make faster, more informed decisions about how they can optimize their IT tool infrastructure using RedMonocle. 

Think IT tool rationalization is hard? It’s not. We can build you a dashboard of your IT Monitoring tools and show you your gaps and overlaps in as little as 48 hours. Want to see where you can save up to 20% on your IT tool infrastructure?