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  • Applications Rationalization and Optimization

    “Almost two thirds of organizations report that they have too many or far too many applications due to sprawl from poorly managed portfolios, and application managers are spending too much time supporting non-critical applications and not enough time on their most vital ones.”

    InfoTech Research Group

    Applications Rationalization and Optimization continues to be a primary focus area for organizations of all sizes in both the public and private sector.   As these organizations attempt to adapt to today’s challenges (remote-work, tight budgets, rapidly evolving technology, new and fickle customer or constituent expectations, etc.), they are faced with an ever-growing list of applications that need to be managed.

    What do we mean by Applications Rationalization and Optimization?

    Applications Rationalization is the decision-making framework for deciding what applications should be adopted, maintained, modernized, consolidated, or retired.  Applications Optimization takes this one step farther by ensuring that you are getting the most business value out of the applications that you do have.

    Start your Applications Rationalization process creating awareness and alignment
    on where you are and where you want to go.  Read More: IT Strategic Planning  

    A Multi-Lens Applications Rationalization Framework

    Once your team is aligned on where you are and what you want to achieve, the next step is to take a good inventory of your existing applications and begin to develop the framework you will use to evaluate both your current inventory as well as what applications might come down the road.  At MSSBTA, we strongly encourage our clients to develop a framework that evaluates applications through various lenses, such as Info-Tech’s Five Lens Model.

    application portfolio management

    Right-Size Your Applications Rationalization Approach

    One thing we advise our clients in the very early stages of our Applications Rationalization engagements is to ‘right-size’ the approach for the organization. 

    In some organizations, a thorough and detailed analysis is warranted to provide decision makers with deep insight. In other organizations, a more light-weight assessment will fully meet the organization’s needs.  Often, there is a middle ground where some deeper analysis is required on certain applications and a lighter weight approach is taken to others.

    If you are considering an Applications Rationalization initiative, we would encourage you to work with our client engagement team to customize the approach that is right for your organization.

    Applications Rationalization Best Practice

    If you are considering an Applications Rationalization project, we would encourage you to consider an iterative, sponsor mandated, and deliberate initiative that will maximize your chances of success.  Consider the following:

    application portfolio chart

    Ready to Get Started with Applications Rationalization? or 602-387-2100

    Applications Optimization – Getting the Most Out of What You Have

    Application Optimization is understanding what you have and making the most of it.

    The benefits of Application Optimization are plentiful. It is almost always significantly less expensive to leverage existing technology than to purchase and implement new applications. By identifying and articulating requirements, your organization can more effectively negotiate with current vendors; and new requirements might be incorporated into future versions or product roadmaps.

    Application Optimization can also be performed on an accelerated timeline and support requirements are usually much more predictable.  Additionally, the impact on end-users is typically much smaller than implementing an entirely new system.

    Although performing Application Optimization sounds like common sense, many organizations just do not do it. Why? Sometimes, it is a lack of internal capacity as key employees are already stretched thin performing their daily jobs. Sometimes, it is a lack of technical “know-how”. Most often, it is a lack of leadership bandwidth to organize and drive the effort or a perception that the effort might conflict with other organizational priorities.

    As a leader, if you are receiving signals from your team that you need to replace a current application or augment your existing technology stack with a new application, you are probably already thinking about Application Optimization.  If you need help getting started, please drop us a line.

    Read more – Getting Started on Applications Optimization

    Explore Some of MSSBTA’s Other Service Offerings or 602-387-2100