Why is application rationalization not just an IT issue? It affects the business as well. Let me explain... whenever we meet a customer their primary thought of application rationalization is get the information from the vendor (which could take months and months) and then move the applications to Windows - 7/8 or Virtualization and forget them until the next version of Windows or Virtualization technology comes available and then the process needs to be done all over again. However, our job is to educate the masses on the importance of application rationalization fitting into the everyday business as usual process.
We see new articles and reports every day from the usual sources stating that application portfolio bloat is a growing problem and it’s costing organizations millions of dollars every year. Everyone knows that but who has the time and resources to dedicate to that right now or even every day? The answer is not a single organization does. So as important as it is to rationalize your application portfolio on a consistent basis, many organizations just ignore it thinking that they’ll get to it later when they absolutely have to. Or they open up the excel spreadsheet (as this is the preferred method of application management in many organizations), take a look, get overwhelmed, and then move on to the next fire. This is not helping.
I recently had a conversation with an organization that has an SLA in place to ensure that their applications are up to date for all of their users. Yet they haven’t rationalized any applications in over a year. This negatively impacts their business and I’ll tell you why. We all know that most of the financial, insurance, pharmaceutical, and government organizations are regulated and have stringent security and government requirements to adhere to. A lot of these requirements are centered on applications being up to date due to security vulnerabilities. If their applications are more than X number of releases behind the most current release from the vendor it could cost them tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Another aspect where application rationalization can negatively impact all businesses is in productivity. As much as we all complain about having to update applications all of the time (the worst is Java and only a hand full of organizations (if that) allow an automatic reminder on the desktop) and most releases seem miniscule at best. But some are imperative for security or even a bug fix that can crash your systems or hinder your users from executing the functions of the business (we’ve all heard the horror stories). This can be catastrophic not only in dollars and productivity, but also for the reputation of the IT organization.
Up until now, application rationalization has been an arduous manual process that takes months and even years to complete. However, as its now automated, application rationalization executed in your everyday application management process could help your organization save millions of dollars and months of productivity every year. Just think, there will be no more unused, underused, out of support, or out of date applications in your portfolio. All vendor applications consistently updated when a new release is available by setting alerts and creating thresholds. This is no longer the case to use the phrase; “in a perfect world”… it’s now in the real world.
Try the Application Rationalization Savings Calculator and see how much you can reduce your operational costs by: http://futurestateit.com/application-rationalization-savings-calculator/