Application sprawl is a common problem. After years or decades of organizational growth, whether it has been organic or by acquisition, applications are often added to the portfolio out of operational need, organizational segmentation, or a myriad of other reasons without holistic, architectural governance. Without oversight at the enterprise level, one organizational unit deploys a document management solution. Another unit deploys another one. A third deploys another one. The total cost of ownership soars. Rather than enabling synergies across the enterprise, IT becomes an enabler of organizational silos. An Application Portfolio Assessment is the first step toward Application Rationalization – the process of optimizing a bloated application portfolio. DivIHN has proven methodologies for these assessments which have resulted in our customers saving millions of dollars in operating costs.
Your business runs on applications. When mission-critical applications are unhealthy there can be a direct impact on the health of the business. Functional deficits lead to business processes that are inefficient or discontinuous requiring workarounds, manual intervention, and duplicate work. Technological deficits, “technical debt”, result in applications are expensive to maintain, difficult to modify, and lack the flexibility needed to support business innovation. An Application Health Assessment is the first step toward restoring application health. The assessment may result in a recommendation to invest in the rehabilitation of the application, to build a replacement, or to buy a replacement. DivIHN has a solid track record of conducting these assessments leading to revitalized business enablement and increased business value as a return on the IT investment.
Application Portfolio Assessment
We have a proven Application Portfolio Assessment methodology to determine what’s important to your business and identify gaps in talent, practices, and technologies that contribute to elevated risk. The process includes:
- Initiation – Identify the core team, subject matter experts, and key audiences
- Discovery – We work with you to collect and organize qualitative and quantitative data to understand application health indicators and cost of ownership across the portfolio. Data sources can include your existing Enterprise Architecture management tools, application inventories, IT service catalogs, IT financial data and qualitative inputs such as user sentiment. Attributes are assembled for every application using a consistent model to facilitate assessment and objective comparison.
- Assessment and Analysis – We conduct a detailed review of the application portfolio in an enterprise architecture context. Our proven and flexible methodology employs data-based quantitative techniques to identify redundancies, and objectively categorize strategic opportunities for improving the functional, technical, and financial health of the portfolio.
- Disposition Recommendations– We provide detailed recommendations for application disposition.
- Invest – These are the applications which deliver the most business value. Continued investment here carries the greatest promise of returning strategic and operational value.
- Migrate – Applications in this category are valuable and important but our analysis shows opportunities to reduce ongoing costs of ownership through migration to a different hosting model or other structural changes.
- Sustain – This portion of your portfolio is healthy as-is. These applications are delivering adequate value for the cost of ownership or there are no practical alternatives for migration or replacement.
- Retire – We recommend retirement of those applications which are functionally redundant, where more cost-effective alternatives are available, whose functionality can be absorbed in other solutions with appropriate investment or have become unsustainable because of technological obsolescence.
The outcome of the Application Portfolio Assessment is a repository of objective data about the current state, a clear view of a desired future state, and a rationalization roadmap.
Application Health Assessment
When a mission-critical application is not meeting business needs or proving disproportionately expensive to operate, we have a proven Application Health Assessment methodology to determine what’s important to your business and identify gaps in specific categories of solution health.
- Functionality: the ability of the application to meet business functional requirements by effectively enabling business processes
- Scalability: the ability of the application to perform all necessary processing in a timely manner as volumes increase
- Interoperability: the ability of the application suite to work as an integrated whole or to work with external applications and data
- Reliability: the capacity of the application suite to be available when the business needs it to be available
- Manageability: the ability to manage the application suite, from a systems and infrastructure perspective
- Serviceability: the ability of the application suite to take advantage of external tools such as continuous or automated integration and deployment
- Modifiability: the ease of creating and/or modifying application code and deploying it
To perform these assessments, we provide a methodology and a core team which typically includes architects, business and systems analysts, and specialists in the underlying technologies. We measure the application against its stated business value proposition, reviewing solution architecture, technology components, code, data models, integration points and more. The outcome of an Application Health Assessment is typically an invest or replace recommendation. A replace recommendation may be further qualified as a buy or build recommendation.