TIP OF THE WEEK: How to get started with application rationalisation
Every week we share our expert TIP with you.
#39: How to get started with application rationalisation
As the IT Asset Management industry is maturing, we at Softline Solutions see our clients reaching new levels of maturity as well. Many of our clients have entered the twenties having the basics down, with a clear overview of their installed base and the registration of their entitlements, and processes in place to make sure audits don’t have unexpected or even unpleasant outcomes. So now, a logical step is to start saving money by reducing the number of software titles in their IT infrastructure.
But where to start? Gartners’ TIME model is a useful tool and offers a good place to start. The model works by placing applications in 1 of 4 quadrants, based on their technical condition and business value. This helps to decide to either tolerate, invest, migrate or eliminate a software title. Other models with a similar approach exist, such as the quadrants used within ServiceNow’s APM maturity Model. The basic idea is the same.
However, this approach may lead to discussions with stakeholders using the applications. Measuring technical condition and business value may seem objective measurements to base portfolios decisions upon. But in reality, highly subjective aspects such as personal habits, culture, company politics and bias play a role. A possible way out is adding a third axis to the model. There are many possibilities, such as required skills, user experience and target platforms (to name just a few), but by far the most objective one is security issues:
An application for instance is either patched or it is not. There is no grey area. In a similar fashion, a specific product version either poses a security risk or not, and operating systems rarely have an ambiguous support status. By selecting applications with the highest risk to work on first, you can prove the value of the rationalisation process quickly. As an added benefit, you will create an initial phase where all stakeholders learn to work together and work out the details of the process as they go.
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