Technology Portfolio Management (TPM) has traditionally focused on reducing the cost and risk of IT through technology standardization and governing projects that alter the IT landscape. We have noticed a maturing trend as TPM moves beyond these fundamental tasks. While there are many factors contributing to this, there are three noteworthy themes we see fairly regularly in successful technology portfolio programs.
Focus on business, not technology.
TPM is about enabling a business to change as fast and often as needed. It’s true you can take out costs and decrease certain kinds of risk by standardizing technology, but these benefits are hard to measure. In his 2005 CIO Magazine article (“A New Blueprint for the Enterprise”), Christopher Koch wrote, “Standardizing, mapping and controlling IT assets does not make the business obviously more flexible, capable or profitable.” This mirrors what we see in the field: best in class TPM programs become invaluable by providing business options that can be executed immediately. The ROI is tied to the outcome of the business change itself. Those kinds of options don’t come from technology-centric teams; they come from teams that really know the business and how it operates. These teams have business conversations about technology, rather than technology conversations about “the business.”