business dashboard (everything possible/

Uncovering insights in IT spending

As more federal agencies look to modernize their IT portfolios, they’re analyzing budgets and resources to ferret out redundancies and untapped potential. But that’s often easier said than done.

One way to uncover insights about technology cost, value and quality is with Technology Business Management tools that use a common taxonomy across IT, finance and business areas. TBM tools pull data from across programs into a single view and connect the cost of IT systems to the business services that IT provides.   

In 2012, when Washington state’s then-CIO Bharat Shyam wanted to share information on his office’s IT standardization and consolidation efforts to lawmakers and government stakeholders, he tapped Apptio, a provider of cloud-based TBM solutions, to help find and implement cost savings at 44 agencies across the state.

Washington’s TBM program now monitors statewide IT spending by capturing data on new expenditures (acquisitions), ongoing expenditures (operations and maintenance) and interagency transfers.  Agencies that spend more $10 million on IT annually actively participate in additional reporting exercises.  The federal government has been exploring TBM as well, and Apptio CEO Sunny Gupta said he has used the success in Washington to convince six federal agencies, including the General Services Administration and Department of Housing and Urban Development, to give the service a try.

Apptio uses Amazon Web Services GovCloud to deliver its TBM applications to federal, state and local governments.  Currently, Apptio’s own software-as-a-service solution is FedRAMP-ready.  “Once we get final approval from FedRAMP in the next few quarters, we will be able to fully deploy our product in the federal government,” Gupta said. 

On May 2, Apptio was one of seven companies chosen for the FedRAMP Connect program, which fast-tracks the approvals process with the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board.

Gupta said he sees the potential for more federal agencies to adopt TBM to reduce costs and improve their IT utilization models under the President Donald Trump’s administration.

“The new administration is thinking about government from a business point of view,” he said. “We want to be helpful to agencies to provide better management strategies that reduce waste and bloat.”

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.

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