Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in today’s globalized economy enable businesses to gain more market share, broaden portfolio, reduce business risks and capitalize on economies of scale. The entire oil and gas value chain has often witnessed extensive M&As in an attempt to increase business value and expand to new regions. However, one of the key challenges that organizations face post an M&A is understanding the complex IT dimensions enabling key business functions and augmenting the core business processes. This requires planning and managing costs within a project portfolio, sourcing and managing technology development and optimizing procurement with strategic category and supplier management. However, multiple systems for maintaining application inventory and technology standards, legacy, broken and insecure interfaces between systems, scattered processes and lack of a governance model in practice for application lifecycle management hampers efficient application portfolio management.
In addition, the lack of a holistic view into current applications, complexity in managing financial investments, maintaining business capability standards and identifying redundant or risky applications slows down user adoption, application performance and demand management, increasing chances of possible cyberattacks.
Leveraging application portfolio management to rationalize application portfolio, reduce IT costs and increase IT flexibility
Application Portfolio Management (APM) helps manage enterprise IT software applications and software-based services. It provides enterprise architects, service owners and managers with an inventory of the company’s software applications and metrics to illustrate the business benefits of each application. Such an APM system leverages scoring algorithms to generate reports and dashboards about the applications’ performance and overall health of their IT infrastructure based on the various matrix defined by the organization. This in turn helps sustain, update, retire or replace applications based on metrics such as application’s age, usage, maintenance cost and inter-relationships. While other applications offer multifold benefits to the organizations such as:
- Improved planning for software upgrades, maintenance and technology currency
- Enhanced monitoring of health of system and application components
- Better identification and easy update of all related components of a given hardware, software or application CI, making information available for information security teams
- Easy co-relation of information about the network components with the other layers of the solution stack such as the application layer and the physical layer
- Single pane of glass view of IT portfolio, application inventory, technology stack and financial aspects aiding management decisions
- Centralized application repository and lifecycle management to form a single source of truth, action and transaction
- Bolstered IT portfolio rationalization to divest on legacy and redundant applications to realize cost savings
- Improved management of redundant, unsupported technology components and tools
- Better tracking of TCO, managing risks and compliance, and identifying applications with better or poor ROI
- Taking key strategic decisions with respect to digital transformation, cloud migration, IT portfolio roadmap and IT budgeting and expenditure
- Enhanced enforcement of governance and processes across enterprise in managing IT assets
- Measuring business value of applications with respect to user adoption and vendor performance
APM framework: The idea to ensure future success
We believe the APM framework is well positioned to help organizations easily navigate and understand the composition of application portfolio and the IT infrastructure. It can help cement an organizations’ ability to measure technical risks of applications in line with vendor application lifecycles and internal application lifecycles. In addition, it boosts business application understanding, supporting business capabilities, business areas, processes and organizational units and locations. This ultimately helps in IT cost reduction by providing insights into application costs and roll-ups for various areas of the business. Organizations can also visualize applications on an interactive, attractive Gantt chart and on a bubble chart to make decisions to sustain, invest or divest on applications, building a successful digital transformation roadmap.