“Show me your application landscape and I’ll tell you about your company”. In an ideal world, the application landscape would be a perfectly accurate reflection of the objectives and governance of an enterprise. It would be highly standardized and industrialized where needed, to enable and support core processes. It would be agile, responsive and insightful at the right places to give the enterprise its differentiating edge. In reality, there is likely to be a gap between the needs and ambition of an organization and the extent to which the application portfolio can address these. Keeping the gap as narrow as possible may sound simple enough, but it is a huge task that requires a daring, innovative mindset and determined execution.

In the latest edition of our Application Landscape Report, we concluded that the weight of existing application landscapes is reaching critical mass, as disruptive technologies have emerged and pressure from the business side for innovation is mounting. It is no longer a question of whether to rationalize, but rather when and how to do it.

Enterprises should look for more radical measures to simplify and standardize their core applications. The good news: the cloud is bringing a whole new catalog of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. As they typically contain industry best practices, replacing existing – often custom-built – applications is not only cost-effective and reduces complexity but also brings new value to the enterprise. Thinking ‘catalog first’ however requires a change in mindset that ripples through the entire enterprise, not just the IT department.

When core applications landscape are unleashed, they thus become not only a stable foundation for the performance of the enterprise but also a catalyst for growth.

Your expert: Ron Tolido  

Part of Capgemini’s TechnoVision 2015 update series. See the overview here.