Application Rationalization (IV). 8 Tangible Results and Benefits
Yes, you read it right, results & benefits. After all I have explained about rationalization, the complexity of your application portfolio and the more or less painful process your organization has to go through; you need results and tangible benefits. Otherwise, why bother, right?
So, I didn’t want to close this series of articles without a takeaway, or more precisely a bunch of them. Here you have the 8 most relevant results and benefits your organization will get by rationalizing its application portfolio.
1. You won’t lose the technical and functional knowledge about your applications
I’m sure you all face the problem of staff rotation. What happens when one of your star developers or architect leaves your company to start his or her own startup, for example? Where does all the knowledge go? And if your applications are developed by external factories, can you keep up to date of all the details?
It is essential to document all development phases, from design to coding and testing. This is especially hard when dealing with applications that are in production and that were not sufficiently documented during the development. In these cases, you must be able to re-document these applications during the rationalisation process. Guess what? Part of this task can be automated.
2. Harness your application portfolio management
Applications are, for sure, a critical assets for your company. Specially those that are the core of complex business processes. As with the management of any type of asset, you need to focus your efforts on the most productive and important ones. For example, applications which duplicate functionality or support business lines that no longer exist must be identified for rationalization.
With the proper application inventory you will have a global view of your application portfolio building a software map with all the dependencies. That is, you will understand your applications’ complexity in order to manage and rationalize them based on objective information.
3. No-sweat change management
Applications evolve, in particular to correct defects, improve performance or to be adapted to the changes demanded by the business. Complexity in development and maintenance tasks often lead to problems in production, low performance and rework that , both the business and development teams can not afford.
The developers must know the code well enough to include the required changes without creating unanticipated impacts. Impact analysis of changes will allow you to make decisions on technical rationalization of your applications. For example, a simple change in a business module can have an impact on architecture design that makes you think about a more global change.
4. Reduce your risks
The wide variety of technologies, architectures, languages and systems that make up your enterprise applications portfolio can be understood thus reducing the risks associated with changes and updates or establishing alternative plans to remove them.
5. I said simple!
Bringing simplicity to IT environments is fundamental to the role of the architect, by identifying valuable areas within your portfolio and the elimination of the redundant and sterile. Having a centralized repository with the details of the applications, their components and relationships can help to eliminate the complexity of the portfolio and the applications themselves.
6. Have your assets classified and under control
Classifying software assets helps to align your application architecture with your processes and your organisation, adapt applications to the global vision of your IT organisation and therefore the business. You can achieve this through manual or automatic labelling of the application components of your software map in functional and organisational units.
7. Increase your productivity
Having the necessary technical information significantly increases productivity in the development and maintenance phases, through the discovery of the complexity of applications and the impact analysis capabilities.
8. Outsourced development anyone?
Outsourcing represents an attractive proposition, and it has worked well for many companies, but it also can be a nightmare. In order to obtain the maximum value from outsourcing it is necessary to devise a careful plan based on a deep knowledge of the applications that are the most appropriate for the transition to an external provider.
With the right information it is possible to effectively manage the transfer process by providing adequate documentation of the entire portfolio. This allows it to be known in detail where the value and the complexity is, reducing the likelihood of unexpected surprises.
If you want a “visual metaphore” of rationalization, check out our corporate video and have fun.
Thanks for reading !
Meet the author Javier Salado
Marketing and content manager at Optimyth Software and editor of this blog. With 20+ years experience in IT, he has done everything you can do in the software industry: developer, designer, architect, project manager, pre-sales and product marketing. One-man band for corporations and start-ups.