Ten-Step Program for Application Portfolio Management

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Spain, France, the U.K., Finland and Denmark to meet with senior management though a series of round table sessions on the topic of Application Portfolio Management (APM). The outcome of the round tables were agreement that most businesses have accumulated a wide assortment of applications, some redundant, many underused and some obsolete. Many of these applications were out of sync with the business direction and complicating business processes. The lack of governance of these applications is slowing down the speed of business and definitely increasing cost.

APM provides a comprehensive understanding of the applications operating within your environment. The objectives of APM are to move the organization from a state of unknown to a defined inventory with comprehensive data on the business value and technical condition of each application.

There are multiple programs for APM in the industry. Here is the CA Clarity10-Step APM program:

Step 1: Appoint an APM program manager

Appoint a dedicated APM program manager with appropriate authority level to drive the process. The role will require the person to be objective and judicial during the assessment and portfolio analysis.

Step 2: Define the scope of an application within your business

Definitions may vary per business needs, your application landscape, or simple opinion, but you need one definition to work with in order to assemble your inventory. The following is an example of an application definition:

Application – An executable that directly supports a business process either through its own interface or as a business service through another UI.

Step 3: Conduct an inventory

Collect relevant information on all applications meeting the definition and capture the data. Data will include: status, business process, acquisition source, who is responsible, maintenance status, business needs serviced, etc.

Step 4: Define your evaluation metrics

To make the necessary decisions to transform your application portfolio, you must have agreed-upon metrics for how your decisions will be made. Sample metrics should include: Business value, costs, benefits, strategic fit, technical conditioner, vendor rating, etc.

Step 5: Assess the business value

Survey business representatives on the business value of each application.

Step 6: Assess the technical condition

The technical condition of the application is its quality, performance, availability, and strategic fit in your architecture amongst other metrics including: number of incidents related to the application, costs associated with resolving incidents, availability, compliance with IT policies and strategy, maintenance stream, etc.

Step 7: Assess risk

A risk profile for each application should be developed which includes: security, disaster recovery, vendor viability, regulatory compliance, privacy, and other relevant issues.

Step 8: Analyze portfolio

Analyze each application in the portfolio per your evaluation metrics and score the applications against each other to understand organizational value.

Step 9: Determine actions

Develop scenarios for potential actions based on the analyses of the applications. This should incorporate a summary of the expected results if the scenario is acted upon – including impact to budget, staff, policies, and strategy.

Step 10: Implement decisions

The actions decided will generate a new program of work that will need prioritization within your current investment cycle, which will require a schedule, resource allocation, cost, delivery plan, and other project components.

For more information on APM visit the CA Clarity website and download the APM Whitepaper from the Application Portfolio Management site.

Article source: CA PPM Blog

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