The time has come to bring some order into your IT application landscape! Your IT application landscape has changed into a complex system of intertwined digital highways. Some of your applications are maintained centrally and some are specifically maintained by a Business Unit. Your IT application landscape is thus becoming increasingly difficult and costly to maintain because of this heterogeneity. Capgemini’s ‘transportation metaphor’ issued in the Capgemini Technovision 2011, will help you order and classify your applications:

Train Apps: “TRAIN Apps are foundational solutions that organizations need as the backbone for their operations. […]. They are at the hearth of operations, may contain crucial corporate knowledge and need to be robust, stable, compliant with rules and regulations, and predictable”. These are ERP or Legacy Core Applications.

Bus Apps: “BUS Apps are stable, yet flexible solutions that provide organizations with a certain degree of competitive differentiation. Being core apps, they define the very essence of the organization. […]. Although the pace of change is relatively slow, it must be easy to implement changes and customize the solutions – while sustaining the stable and standardized elements of the solution”. These are CRM, R&D or Product Management applications.

Hub Apps: “HUB Apps – or better, HUB application services – provide the crucial glue between the IT and Business sides of the organization, including the outside world. They enable all stakeholders to create solutions within the pace and requirements of their own lifecycle dynamics”. These are a Data Market, Apps Market or Mobile Services.

Car Apps: “CAR Apps are created in, or in near proximity to, the business. Because they are close to the market-facing units – and possibly to clients – the dynamics of these applications reflect volatility of the outside world. CAR Apps address many direct, operational, and tactical needs of the business and provide direct, measurable value”. These are BPM, BRM or BI applications.

Scooter Apps: “SCOOTER Apps are created in the operational business units by the employees of these units themselves. They may be applications that are created as a direct response to a certain event but can also include highly personalized user experiences, aimed at supporting individuals in their work”. These are a portal, Mashups or a Wiki application.

Capgemini’s Lifecycle Services for Oracle Applications provide a cost-effective solution to transform and maintain your companies business processes and IT systems. However using a hybrid solution landscape, with the right balance of applications maintained in the Cloud and On-Premise, may be more suitable to your needs:

  • Keep your Train and Bus Apps which are solid and robust systems On-Premise where you also have control over your data.
  • Use Cloud Applications for your Scooter and Car Apps which are likely to change rapidly over time. As defined by Gartner, “Cloud is a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided as a service to customers using Internet technologies”. Moreover Cloud Applications integrate easily with Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and Online Marketing Tools. Cloud Computing provides you with lower IT implementation and maintenance costs, allowing you to maintain your Car and Scooter Apps cost-effectively: Capgemini implemented successfully the Cloud application Oracle CRM on Demand for a major customer ‘Vopak’. It increases the flexibility of your IT landscape because extra server capacity is available on demand and because your applications are maintained up to date to the most effective version. However Cloud Computing requires careful thinking about issues such as data access & privacy
  • Use the Hub Apps to integrate the applications On-Premise and in the Cloud.

Finally applying Capgemini’s ‘transportation metaphor’ is a first step in managing cost-effectively your IT landscape: keep your Train and Bus apps On-Premise, and move your Car and Scooter Apps into the Cloud. Capgemini’s Hybrid Lifecycle Services for Oracle Applications can help you transform your organization by reducing costs and increasing the flexibility of your IT Systems by helping you choose the right mix of applications that are On-Premise and in the Cloud. For more information on CRM in the Cloud you can also read ‘CRM SaaS solutions enabling faster innovation’ by Ernst-Jan de Waardt.

Balt Leenman (Cloud Leader Capgemini), Mark Vervuurt (Siebel CRM Consultant).

Special thanks to Léon Smiers, Sjuck Brongersma and Pepijn Brinkhoff for their critical thoughts and input.