Key take-aways from the TBM European Summit in London June 2017

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize in literature. Not just any music award like the Polar prize or MTV Awards. Mr. Dylan’s achievements as a songwriter and performer won him a Nobel laureate by one of the most traditional academic institutions in the world. Regardless of what one thinks of this milestone of the Nobel committee, it is a sign that the times are a-changin’. The very notion of this would have been impossible just a decade back.

As a consultant I work daily with change. The changes that are happening right now in the way we are innovating business with new technology are extremely fascinating. The transformational needs on how we govern technology is enormous.

One of the clearest common denominators at this year’s TBM European Summit was the need to apply dramatic up-leveling of the value conversation between stakeholders within an organization. The major change agent here is the growth and development of technology. We have for quite a few years acknowledged that technology is everywhere and that major changes are inevitable. Basically all speakers emphasized the need to adjust how effectively we govern the changes in technology. What they did have in common was that they all seemed to belong to organizations that recognize that technology governance is the conduit for change.

In this blogpost I have written som key take-aways from the TBM European Summit 2017 concerning:

  • Getting uberized is a thing
  • The value conversation is here to stay
  • Transparency as a means to establish trust
  • Hybrid Cloud Governance definitely requires modern tools
  • Your Digital Supply Chain is a major target

  • Getting uberized is a thing

One very special thing, if you represent Uber like Dean Nelson, one of the speakers at the summit, is that Uberized is a thing. It drives a phenomenal change not just by technology people. Either you are terrified to be Uberized by your competition or you are on a quest to Uberize your market. In either case there is a requirement of re-innovation and heavy investment in new technology is a must.

The value conversation is here to stay

For the past few years the TBM council have gathered highly successful CXO’s on the mainstage for very exiting keynotes. I have attended pretty much all of them for the past 3-4 years. One major reoccurring theme of these successful CXO’s is the ability to change the content of the conversation between the traditional the IT function and what was formerly known as “the business”.

The companies that have realized that their business is technology, how reluctant that insight might be, frequently seem to be taking larger steps towards success. The CIOs that have changed the content of the conversation to value rather than cost seem to get more leverage and financial means to actively lead the transformation. All seem to agree that this value conversation does not emerge overnight. In order to be able to discuss value one have to be able to explain cost on a detailed level. Once you understand the details of cost you can start guiding consumers of technology on how to connect the dots toward value.

Transparency as a means to establish trust

If you strive to be an organization that takes a technology leap, one conclusion is that there needs to be trust. A common goal and a strategy is nice and important but if there is the slightest distrust, your efforts will perhaps not necessarily fail but they will likely not reach full potential. Trust consist of a lot of factors such as courage to show vulnerability and mutual benefits but one of the most important aspects of trust is the concept of transparency. Transparency is sometimes scary. At least in the beginning when a lot of uncomfortable details can make you look weak in the short term. In my years as an avid TBM Council follower, very few successful CXO’s on the center stage has presented a story that did not include a message of the need to establish trust.

Hybrid Cloud Governance definitely requires modern tools

As we move towards heavy investments in technology, we need to make sure we bend the run costs as effectively as possible. Understanding what we can get out of delivery through third party and a capability to optimize is key for governing both delivery and operative model. Spending more time understanding the integration need for multiple cloud delivery models is a very important aspect of modern governance. Not just from a cost perspective but definitely from an innovation perspective.

Your Digital Supply Chain is a major target

Just like logistics heavy organization in the 90’s targeted supply chain optimization using standard taxonomy and integrating to vendors, the governance of technology is nowadays in the need ofa similar exiting potential. Technology is by far a much more complex object to govern in 2017 than it was just 10 years ago. It was a lot simpler when a server was a server and a database was a database and you knew where to physically find it. In today’s hybrid cloud context, the task of governing can seem daunting.

Luckily innovation and standardization movements have arrived to make this governance challenge manageable. By leveraging modern cloud based tools and connecting these to the multitudes of complex data sources and data objects we can actually say that we can focus on optimizing the digital supply chain rather than just flashing SLA documents to defend our daily work. This new focus for optimization that does require time and effort, is not just a required capability but also a very key building block for the establishment of trust.

So this was a collection of mental and physical notes jotted down on the flight back from a warm and sunny London. I am definitely excited to be working with technology governance and consulting in this decade as there are so many brilliant things happening as we speak.

With new energy and a topped of storage of enthusiasm I head for summer break ready to continue our TBM work in the Nordic marketspace upon my return. We have come a long way in these past 3-4 years. Many new faces showed up in London this time around. The Nordic delegation more than doubled to the mid 45’s as more and more organizations, Public and Private, realize they have to do more with less and realign efforts. If you want to take part of more notes, experiences and lessons learned by me or my colleagues in implementing TBM as part of your governance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Hope to see you at the TBM Summit Las Vegas in November.

Want to know more about our offers within TBM, visit our webpage. If you have any question, you are welcome to send me an email: 


Ludvig Millfors
Partner, Centigo