11 years, 13 days ago

Mom says Save Up; I say do it with Application Rationalization

In part 7 of “Memoirs of an Enterprise Architect” I tested your knowledge on data classification and compliance.  Well, I have good news for this week.  There will not be another quiz so you can just sit back, relax and maybe learn a thing or two about rationalizing your applications.

Your mom is running the Business

Remember what it was like being a kid and wanting something so bad, but your parents would not buy it for you?  Mom said if you could save your own money by doing odd jobs, she would take you to buy that thing you were just dying to have.  Believe it or not, businesses operate very similar to this way of thinking.

Every year each segment of the business is given a budget, right?  If you are a creative leader then you figure out how to get nearly everything you want within the budget given to you.  Application Rationalization is a way in which this can be accomplished, but it takes extreme discipline and diligence for the whole organization.  If you can do this successfully, not only will you get everything you want within your budget constraints, but you will likely also save several extra millions to boot!

Mom, I can do it. I know I can!

If you want to be successful accomplishing anything in your organization, always always always have a sponsor from the leadership.  Assuming you assemble a small team representing your organization, below are 11 steps to follow for a successful application rationalization effort:

1. Identify standard recommended dispositions like the examples below and make sure comments are required when setting them:

  • Migrate to IT
  • Maintain
  • Retire
  • Bring up to Compliance Satisfy
  • Capabilities by another Application

2. Create a workflow for approving recommended dispositions.

3. Create weekly, monthly, or quarterly applications reviews dependent on how aggressive and how long the Application Rationalization should last.

4. Review all applications and categorize them based on the answers to the following questions:

  • What does the application do? (i.e. the what are Business Capabilities)
  • Who is using it?
  • Where is it being used?
  • What technologies do the applications use and what is their level of risk to the business?

5. Eliminate the low hanging fruit first and set the recommended disposition of every application to Retire that is not being used by anyone.

6. Next, set the disposition to Maintain for every application that is key to running the business and/or is used by a significant amount of people.

7. Set the disposition to Migrate to IT for applications that are not supported by IT, but are providing key capabilities.

8. Determine which applications are using high risk technologies, but are providing key capabilities or are heavily used and set their disposition to Bring up to Compliance.

9. Finally, assess all of the applications providing overlapping capabilities and determine which ones should be set to Satisfy Capabilities by another Application and which ones should be set to Maintain.

10. Once a disposition is approved, make sure to set the lifecycle appropriately

11. Provide reports to the executive sponsor and senior management on a scheduled basis to show wins early and often

The application reviews should be used as a vehicle for continuously reviewing the applications against the portfolio and ensuring the recommended dispositions are being approved and executed upon.

I did it! I saved millions… told you…

Application Rationalization will allow your organization to:

  • Reduce complexity
  • Reduce headcount for supporting and maintaining applications
  • Reduce infrastructure
  • Eliminate risk related to non IT supported and non-compliant applications
  • Reduce redundancy by eliminating applications providing the same capabilities

All of these results are key enablers that will allow you to get what you need with a reasonable budget and you will also save your company millions of dollars in the process.

Did you run and tell your mom yet that you saved enough to get what you want?  Well, what are you waiting for?

Next week I will dive into modeling so get your Glamour Shots ready and start practicing your runway walk!

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