Businesses regularly attempt to boost efficiency through rationalisation of hardware, processes and even people – On the other hand, why is application rationalisation usually overlooked?
Rationalisation is basically the method of searching for what you have got, what is actually and truly want or need, and elimninating the excess. Rationalising your business applications can be a lengthy but worthy exercise, nevertheless IT departments usually have a problem understanding where is best to start, or the way to build up a case to make decisions.
Now, let's take a look at the benefits of rationalising your application portfolio
As well as the core business applications – Email, ERP, social media etc. – We frequently can spot immense volumes of applications on any single network. There could also be software that has been used for a project specifically but was never stopped, or duplicate applications acquired through something like merger.
Either way, an enterprise may have hundreds even thousands of apps on their network at any time, slowing performance speeds and adding significant costs. Reducing use and cutting down on these applications can mean IT departments can function much more efficiently, with less applications needing to manage, licence and support.
What's more important, however, is the advantages of application rationalisation will be extending through the entire business. From reducing bottlenecks in information storage to providing the best, simpliest and most up to date software package for the workplace, an efficient working IT operation ensures transactions for the business are running smoothly, employees are working much more productively and the data of the company is secure.
Challenges to consider when rationalising your application portfolio:
One of the biggest and important roadblocks when having to face to rationalising your portfolio is that applications are commonly 'owned' by the department heads, rather than your IT department. Your heads of department are much less likely to recognise the benefits of rationalisation immediately.
This is a common problem as we found that application portfolio rationalisation succeeds best when driven by honest information patterns, in conjunction with a general need in the workplace from senior members of staff for improved business processes. Through this combination, immediate cost savings can be found (within 12 months of implementation) along with improved IT processes in general.
A corporate executive mandate sounds like the wiser option, but we should first consider honest information patterns, and how they can come to help build a decent business case to encourage rationalisation.