Nearly all CIO organizations struggle to optimize cloud consumption. It’s helpful that there is a growing set of tools to help you learn how to best leverage cloud platform services and how to identify when your use is suboptimal and overly costly. But this guidance would be far more effective if it could give you real-time insights so that no dollars are wasted.

This is the key driver of Apptio’s latest move in acquiring FittedCloud. This startup brings advanced algorithms, anomaly detection, and machine-learning technologies to technology business management. While all enterprise cloud management teams can clearly benefit from the lessons learned from technology business management tools, learning through cost failures and errors is an overly expensive process that, sadly, nearly everyone goes through today.

As my CIO research colleague J. P. Gownder points out in his latest report on the future of work, every employee needs to prepare to partner with robotics and AI services that optimize their job delivery. These types of solutions won’t replace your cloud management team. They will greatly empower the team and drive optimal cloud consumption significantly faster and more consistently.

With the recent acquisitions of CloudHealth by VMware and Microsoft’s acquisition last year of Cloudyn, the choices of cloud tech investment management vendors that are truly cloud-neutral are decreasing substantially.

And if you are using cloud-specific technology business management tools today, you aren’t embracing most enterprises’ reality — you are hybrid. Cloud cost optimization isn’t the path to IT efficiency. Leveraging tools that not only help with cloud consumption but look broader to help you with overall tech adoption in private clouds, SaaS, and noncloud cases is the key to overall IT efficiency and optimization. That’s where tools such as Apptio, ClearCost Software, and Flexera are far more valuable investments.

And firms like Apptio that focus not only on what you spend your money on but what projects you are driving and what business objectives you are striving to optimize are delivering substantially higher value. In the age of the customer, digitally empowered customers are driving enterprises to become customer-obsessed digital businesses — applying technology that is customer-led, insights-driven, fast, and connected. Thus, leading CIO organizations focus on customer experience, products and services, and innovation while continuing to reduce costs. Technology business management tools that align with this focus are delivering the highest value. And those that use cross-customer anonymized data to ensure that your actions are not just generic best practices but are best for your company given your industry, size, budget, geography, and more are driving the greatest optimization gains. Robotize these insights, and your company’s IT department will definitely become a business optimization leader.

Want to learn more? Come join me at the Technology Business Management Conference in Las Vegas, November 5–8. I’ll be leading collaboration sessions with leading enterprise CIOs about how to apply these practices and leverage AI to not only optimize tech spending but also to accelerate and optimize tech-led innovation efforts.