In case you missed: we recently released the 2011 edition of the Application Landscape Report. You may find it quite interesting, because it clearly demonstrates that most organizations – global or local, medium or large – have application landscapes that are in desperate need of rationalization. In order to be able to work on a new generation of applications that deliver more value to the business (think mobile, cloud, social, intelligence, process) we need to simplify, standardize and streamline our existing base of applications. Much more about it in the report, but as a summary, here are our Top 10 tips to successfully improve your applications landscape:

1. Regularly assess your IT applications portfolio to determine whether it’s still aligned with the needs of the business and your strategic objectives.

2. Insight comes first: Use analysis and metrics tools to support you in understanding the defining attributes of your applications and their inter-relationships.

3. Focus on simplifying business applications rather than just stabilizing and maintaining the existing portfolio.

4. Consider retirement as a serious part of your application’s lifecycle, applying a “cradle to cradle” approach – application retirement nowadays poses bigger challenges than application development, but it has many potential rewards.

5. Ensure there is a simple, but proper governance strategy to prioritize the IT demands and ensure that it’s in line with business priorities.

6. Improve your business case skills, as a good business case for application rationalization – involving both costs, benefits and value – can provide a decisive push forward to taking real action.

7. Ensure you have a unified clear strategy with guidelines /roadmaps for management, maintenance, standardization, migration and archiving.

8. Align, then integrate your application development and maintenance teams.

9. Get buy-in from your internal business stakeholders for your strategy – as this may be the biggest success factor to application rationalization.

10. Use the Cloud as a wedge to get your applications landscape to move again, step by step.

Happy rationalizing!