Business demands rapid development and implementation of new and innovative IT solutions in order to stay competitive, taking advantage of front-line technology in the areas of mobility, cloud, analytics etc. At the same time, IT departments are struggling under cost pressure to run, maintain and enhance the current and often fragmented application portfolio, full of complex legacy systems representing various initiatives and investments over the past years. It is costly and time consuming, not leaving enough left to develop the new solutions that are required. Clearly, there is a need to do something radical! The question is what?

To rationalize the portfolio is of course a relevant step to take. Our research shows that many organizations are taking quite radical actions to reduce the complexity, fragmentation and inadequacy of the application landscape by initiating rationalization and decommissioning programs. However, it costs money and it is not always easy; business must be heavily involved and people need to change. It will typically take some time before the savings are realized. There are usually no quick fixes in portfolio rationalization that will give significant short-term savings. But still – it should be done.

 A way to create savings and free up resources needed for the rationalization is to look into the way the application portfolio is actually managed. This is about industrialization, i.e. optimizing the IT organization, making sure the most efficient operative models are used to maintain and develop applications with different characteristics, using the IT resources in the most effective way, establishing sourcing solutions that secures capacity and flexibility etc. Our experience is that industrialization actions can give significant savings in a shorter term. And this type of actions is normally in the hands of IT itself to take.

Both rationalization and industrialization requires an understanding and a serious analysis of the Application Landscape, including the application portfolio as such, current and future projects, and not least the IT organization and its budget. Based on many years of experience and best practices from working with our clients, Capgemini has developed an assessment method and a tool to support the analysis. It is called LINKS, and it is ready to take on our clients landscapes any day! But regardless of how it is done and by who; I strongly recommend a holistic approach that is taking all aspects into account in order to identify the best and most relevant actions to take.