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 Alignment – Architect Perspective. How well does the entire portfolio align to your business capabilities? Are there overlaps or redundancies in your application features?
- Business Value – CEO Perspective. Is the application producing sufficient business value? Does it impact profitability, enable capabilities, or add any critical factor that fulfills the mission and vision?
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – CIO Perspective. What is the overall cost of the application? What is the projected cost as your organization grows? What is the cost to maintain the application?
- End User – End User Perspective. What is the user experience? Do the features adequately support the intended functions? Is the application important or does it have high utilization? How does the end user perceive the application? Who will represent the external customer?
- Technical Value – App Team Perspective. What is the state of the backend of the application? Has the application maintained sufficient code quality? Is the application reliable? How does it fit into your application architecture?
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:
Ready to Get Started with Applications Rationalization?
Advisory@mssbta.com 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
- IT Strategic Planning. Are your technology initiatives aligned with your business objectives? MSS Business Transformation Advisory can provide tailored assessments to ensure your technology initiatives are driving expected business outcomes. We help you define your technology roadmap using best practice approaches, frameworks, and tools. Learn More
- Transformation Oversight. What will your governance processes and vendor QA program look like? Transformation Oversight goes beyond what typically falls under the realm of Project Management. It involves developing good governance processes to provide visibility of project execution and enable quality decision making while simultaneously holding your vendor(s) accountable. Learn More
- ERP System Selection and Implementation. Have you selected the right Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System? What won’t your ERP Vendor do? Choosing an ERP System may seem like an overwhelming task for those who have never gone through the ERP System Selection process. It is a big decision your organization will be living with for the next ten or more years. MSS Business Transformation Advisory has unparalleled experience in ERP System Selection and Implementation. Learn More
- Vendor Selection. Which Vendor(s) should you choose? In today’s market there is a convergence in capabilities between technology vendors. Aligning stakeholders, gathering differentiating requirements, conducting market research, developing your RFP, scheduling demos, and evaluating vendors can be a difficult, resource-intensive, and time-consuming project. MSS Business Transformation Advisory can help you select the right vendor on an accelerated timeline. Learn More
- Enterprise Change Management. What is the impact of change on your people? Change is hard. A Digital Transformation is a huge change for any organization. We understand large technology initiatives do not typically fail for technical reasons; instead, they often fail because the “people side of change” is not managed well. MSS Business Transformation Advisory has unparalleled experience in Enterprise Change Management. Learn More
Advisory@mssbta.com or 602-387-2100