We see it every day with our customers, and now the numbers prove it: EA is playing a more strategic role every day in driving value from IT, with application portfolio management (APM) leading the way.
APM – the process of eliminating obsolete, duplicate or unneeded applications – is the primary EA initiative for 36% of the more than 200 Enterprise Architects Architecture & Governance Magazine (A&G) recently surveyed. Nearly 60% of respondents said they either already have an APM program underway or plan to start one in the next 12 months, with another 27% saying they plan to start APM in two years.
More than three-fourths (76%) of respondents said APM impacts ‘all the facets of our business and is highly visible to top level management.” And they expect it to deliver results, with nearly 55% saying they can eliminate or retire at least 20% of their current applications. Respondents also said EA groups are firmly in-charge of the APM efforts. Sixty percent said the EA group has shared responsibility for the management and reporting of the applications portfolio and 15% said the EA group has full responsibility for the applications portfolio.
Mike Vizard of CTOEdge called such application modernization “The Key to IT Cost Reduction,” and noted that in the wake of the economic downturn, business leaders “are keenly interested in rationalizing the enterprise application portfolio to reduce costs. But before that can happen, they need IT expertise that can first identify all the levers that make up the existing enterprise environment, and then propose an alternative application environment that should ultimately reduce both application software licensing fees and IT infrastructure costs.”
And, Vizard said, “once that does happen as part of a concerted effort, the savings are not only substantial, they also tend to be permanent.”
In the words of our chief executive David Hood, the survey confirms what we see in practice, with a majority of respondents believing they could eliminate or reduce up to 50% of their current applications. This represents a huge opportunity for organizations to cut costs and streamline business operations. It’s clear that the move to cloud computing, data center consolidation, and the impact of mobilization across the enterprise is driving reevaluation of the applications portfolio.
The survey was conducted between August 10 and August 17, 2011, with responses from 203 readers of A&G magazine. Sixty-eight percent of respondents carry the title of chief of enterprise, business or technical architecture; 80% are from commercial organizations and 20% represent federal organizations. Half of the respondents report directly to the CIO or Office of the CIO; and 55% work for organizations reporting more than $1B in annual revenues.
We invite you to join A&G Editor-in-Chief George Paras for a webinar exploring the complete survey results on November 16, 2011. Find more information and register here
And until then, let us know your thoughts. Is APM the prime EA initiative in your organization? Why or why not? And is that 20% reduction in application portfolio sound too high, too low, or just right to you?