“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 to enable and support core processes. It would be agile, responsive, and insightful at the right places to give an enterprise a differentiating edge.
In reality, there’s a gap between the needs and ambition of an organization and a limit to which the application portfolio can address it. Keeping the gap as narrow as possible sounds simple enough, but it’s a huge task that requires a daring, innovative mindset and a determined execution.
The weight of existing application landscapes is reaching critical mass, as disruptive technologies emerge and the business side urges for more innovation. It’s no longer a question of whether to rationalize, but rather when and how to do it.
More radical measures need to be considered to simplify and standardize the core applications portfolio. A stepwise approach often takes too long and the business side is tempted to go out and shop for cloud applications themselves. After rationalizing ten thousands of applications for hundreds of different companies, we have found that many organizations have a surprising lack of basic insight into their applications, let alone that they are able to understand the business value of each application, the way it is being used in processes and its dependencies on other applications.
Informed actions are so much easier to take: organizations benefit greatly from building some solid application intelligence, before taking bold decisions on where to move.
Now here’s some 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, reducing complexity, it also brings new value to the enterprise. Thinking ‘catalog first’ – instead of ‘requirements first’ - however asks for a change in mindset that ripples through the entire enterprise, not just the IT department.
Also, with the rise of what we like to call Vanguard IT tools and approaches (think DevOps, high-productivity cloud development platforms and No App Apps), organizations have new opportunities to boost their development productivity and create more innovative applications closer to the business.
So unleash that power: when core application landscapes are radically renewed, they not only become a stable foundation for the performance of the enterprise, but truly a catalyst for digital change as well.
Expert: Ron Tolido
Part of Capgemini's TechnoVision 2016 update series. See the overview here.