13 years, 4 months ago

Alstom Takes Fast Track to Application Portfolio Optimization

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Enterprise Architect Xavier Ruvilly had no doubt what his CEO expected of him when Alstom Power launched its Decommissioning Task Force in early 2010: shave 20 percent a year from the IT budget at the global giant in power generation.

With the ever-rising cost of supporting legacy applications, Ruvilly estimated that he would need to cut Alstom’s application portfolio by 30 percent a year to reach his 20 percent cost reduction goal. But while cutting costs, the IT group also had to meet the business’ need for innovation with new applications.
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With a “spaghetti-like mess” of more than 3,000 applications serving upwards of 70,000 users, deciding and efficiently determining which can safely be removed required a no-nonsense approach. A disciplined strategy, and the use of Troux’s Application Portfolio Management (APM) program, has Alstom on track to save €4 million in the first year of the project.

One of the key lessons Ruvilly learned is the need for accurate, consistent and up-to-date data to help IT and business managers determine which applications survive. That’s why he required users to supply their own data whenever possible. Beyond reducing the work required of the IT team, that helped assure its accuracy and made it less likely they would later claim the data was wrong.

Using Troux’s APM software, Ruvilly has gone through a multi-step process of collecting and validating data on the existing application set, identifying redundant applications and opportunities for cost-savings, and then executing projects to actually replace or consolidate applications.

He is also using Troux to perform the complex mapping of applications to business processes, “so you can know what you can and can’t disable,” says Ruvilly. “You can’t just unplug stuff, especially for complex systems composed of many applications” at the risk of disturbing critical business processes.

His team is on track to decommission five applications per month, and will save €2 million Euros this year simply by eliminating legacy servers — a hardware saving larger than Ruvilly expected. Insights such as finding that Alstom is running 23 different versions of AutoCAD also opened the doors for cost savings through the use of shared licenses.

Another Troux capability that has come in handy is its ability to automatically generate reports showing his progress not just in application optimization, but in cost savings. “You must communicate, communicate, communicate, to show the value you’re delivering,” he says.

And, he has to keep delivering value. Ruvilly’s next step is to use Troux to develop an improved application delivery architecture for the future, and create a road map for migrating to it.

Don’t miss Xavier Ruvilly as he presents Alstom Powers’ ambitious Application Portfolio Rationalization initiative at the Troux Worldwide User Conference on March 23-24th in Austin