Home > Articles

What Is the BTM Model and How Can It Help You Run Your Business?

The BTM Standard provides a set of guiding principles that create a seamless management approach that begins with board- and CEO-level issues and connects all the way through technology investment and implementation. This chapter explains the BTM Standard and how it applies to your business.
This chapter is from the book

"Convergence has been the Holy Grail of leaders for a long time. The key is to recognize that it is a journey and not an event."

—Professor John Henderson, Boston University

In Brief

The BTM Standard provides a set of guiding principles that create a seamless management approach that begins with board- and CEO-level issues and connects all the way through technology investment and implementation.

The Standard identifies 17 essential capabilities grouped into four functional areas: Governance & Organization, Managing Technology Investments, Strategy & Planning, and Strategic Enterprise Architecture.

The BTM Maturity Model identifies areas most in need of improvement, fixes the starting point for the enterprise, and specifies the path for change.

The right way to approach BTM implementation is iteratively. An enterprise must determine where it is in order to focus on specific priorities, design and implement specific capabilities against those priorities, and then execute and continuously improve.

Over the past few years, a standard for the management of business technology has emerged—a repeatable set of processes, defined in terms of 17 business capabilities, that lead to intelligent and consistent business technology management. This chapter sets forth the particulars of this Business Technology Management (BTM) Standard and argues that it is not only a solution for the problems that plague technology deployment, but also a competitive advantage for firms that adopt it.

In today’s world, to manage the business well is to manage technology well. And vice versa.

By now, we certainly know what happens when business and technology are managed on two different tracks. Companies spend 10 percent to 40 percent of their revenues on technology and often just can’t shake that sinking feeling that something is wrong.

Hundreds of millions spent by big-name companies on enterprise resource and customer relationship systems have been wasted; nobody thought to redesign underlying work processes or to make sure employees understood what was happening and why. Huge business technology expenditures to lubricate the supply chain of a global apparel maker managed only to wrap that chain around the axle, leaving the company worse off than if it had done nothing at all. As one CEO said in exasperation, "Is this what we get for our $400 million?"

Such expensive failures have led many observers to question whether information technology can ever produce a defensible long-term competitive advantage.

Unquestionably, there have been enough successes to whet the appetite for the rewards of getting it right. In the late 1990s, for example, Herman Miller began offering small businesses no-frills, quality furnishings delivered quickly at a reasonable price. It established a new operating unit, Herman Miller SQA ("Simple, Quick and Affordable"). By applying business technology exceptionally well, it reduced an industry order cycle of about 14 weeks to about 2 weeks. Sears Home Services consolidated all of its information systems to manage its 12,000 service people. Everything is automated and wirelessly connected. The result is huge savings in parts management, huge increases in productivity of their service people, and significant increases in customer satisfaction.

But on the flip side of exceptional success lies precipitous (or perhaps worse, incremental and undetected) failure. The results have been manifest in productivity shortfalls, imposed workforce reductions, damaged corporate reputations and downward market valuations.

These outcomes threaten to marginalize technology’s role in value creation at the very time that it should be brought closer to the business than ever before. Instead, we are seeing chief information officers reporting to the CFO rather than the strategy office or CEO. More symptoms: a headlong rush to outsource business technology, and choke-holds on technology spending, without any truly strategic understanding of either move. With that often comes a pattern of serial CIO—and maybe CEO—replacement, which virtually guarantees that short-term thinking will rule. What appears at first blush to be the fault of the technologist ("Can’t you make this stuff work?") is really a failure to unify business and technology decision making.

Companies can move beyond alignment

For many enterprises or operations, alignment of business technology with the business has been considered the Holy Grail. Alignment can be defined as a state where technology supports, enables, and does not constrain the company’s current and evolving business strategies. It means that the IT function is in tune with the business thinking about competition, emerging threats and opportunities, and the business technology implications of each. Technology priorities, investments, and capabilities are internally consistent with business priorities, investments, and capabilities.

When that’s the case, the company has reached a level of BTM that relatively few have achieved to date. Alignment is a good thing, and sometimes sufficient to serve a particular business situation.

But there are higher states to consider (see Figure 1.1), and for some enterprises, synchronization of technology with the business is the right goal. At this level, business technology not only enables execution of current business strategy but also anticipates and helps shape future business models and strategy. Business technology leadership, thinking, and investments may actually step out ahead of the business (that is, beyond what is "aligned" with today’s business). The purpose of this is to seed new opportunities and encourage far-sighted executive vision about technology’s leverage on future business opportunities. Yet the business and technology are synchronized in that the requisite capabilities will be in place when it is time to "strike" the strategic option.

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.1 Alignment, Synchronization, Convergence

The three states of alignment, synchronization, and convergence demonstrate different relationships between business and technology.

Finally, there is the state of convergence, which assumes both alignment and synchronization, with technology and business leadership able to operate simultaneously in both spaces. Essentially, the business and technology spaces have merged in both strategic and tactical senses. A single leadership team operates across both spaces with individual leaders directly involved with orchestrating actions in either space. Some activities may remain pure business and some pure technology, but most activities intertwine business and technology such that the two become indistinguishable.

Is this actually possible? Quite so. Examples are abundant for alignment, less so for synchronization, and still fairly rare for convergence. More important, however, how does an enterprise decide what state it should be pursuing, and how does it get there?

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020