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Tidying up the applications portfolio in a systematic, decisive way to bring headroom for innovation and the next generation of powerful application services 

Tidying up the applications portfolio in a systematic, decisive way to bring headroom for innovation and the next generation of powerful application services 

Getting rid of the burden of an existing legacy applications landscape will bring a breath of fresh air to any IT household. But to actually get it done, requires the mindset of a specialized tidying up guru. First of all, it’s a matter of commitment, aligning the need for decluttering throughout the organization, and envisioning the benefits of a new applications portfolio. Tidying up really is about respectfully discarding applications that no longer provide value. Architecture and new platform technologies then hold the key to systematically clean up – in the right order – and move forward to the desired state; a simpler portfolio of application services, that all spark pure joy.


  • Existing applications portfolios often commit large amounts of available budget, resources and capabilities, contrary to business value delivered. They may also be challenged with a substantial technical ‘debt’ of outdated or over-customized technology and architecture, causing liabilities for continuity and maintainability.
  • Tidying up the applications landscape reduces risk and costs, as much as it increases and enables innovation. Yet in practice, few organizations can master the art of systematic application rationalization. Whilst many IT experts are taught how to build new systems, few know how to decommission them.
  • There needs to be an end-to-end approach of replacing (or retiring) both traditional and mission-critical applications, including:
  • The alignment of business and IT stakeholders, including the agreement on the need for application rationalization, its financial parameters and key success indicators.
  • The selection of a new platform and definition of the migration strategy.
  • An understanding of the metrics and migration scenarios, using tools such as eAPM.
  • Speedy transformation towards a more Agileand DevOps way of working.
  • The use of highly industrialized and standardized teams to modernize a traditionally complex and extensive task.
  • The leverage of the existing treasury of data as part of the modernization.


  • Automotive OEM in Germany are utilizing high performance teams from the Capgemini ADCenter in Bangalore, moving from the proprietary AppServerto Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), hosted on a private PaaS (Platform as a Service) through an incremental approach. Re-platforming and moving to FOSS resulted in a reduced time to market, from 2 releases a year to monthly deployments, and reducing the license and infrastructure cost by more than €500k per year.
  • Joe Gribb, Head of Enterprise Advice Technology at The Vanguard Group stated that modernizing IT was one of the critical aspects in the journey to becoming Agile.
  • 58% of the insurance sector’s digital masters have migrated their legacy IT systems to cloud-based applications, compared to an average of 35% in non-financial services organizations. (Capgemini Research Institute)
  • GE Healthcare’s own ‘GE Infrastructure Exchange’ (GEIX) is a remotely managed OpenStack private cloud, which enabled GE to move 530 legacy apps to the cloud in under 2 years, delivering a 49% footprint reduction and annual savings of over €30-million.



Tidying and modernizing the legacy applications landscape is a key prerequisite to becoming a Technology Business, as it leads to:

  • Unification across the enterprise, enabling new business functionality and models,
  • Lower cost of software development and maintenance combined with higher software quality and reduced time to market,
  • Faster development and change cycles due to the slimming down and reduction in complexity of the entire application portfolio,
  • Simpler operation, faster error identification and root cause analysis, due to reduced overall complexity,
  • Headroom for innovation, both in terms of budget and available skills.