Over time, an enterprise’s application portfolio can become ragged, weedy, and overgrown, like an untended garden. Application rationalization can help put things back in order.

>see also: Step-by-step framework for mastering application rationalization

The key to an efficient IT garden

Why is my application "garden" weedy?

There are many reasons why the application landscape gets so out of control and why application rationalization—retiring, consolidating and migrating applications for better value alignment—is so important. One reason is that as a company grows and expands, it’s common to find different groups within the business solving the same problem (backup/recovery for example) with more than one application. Rationalization resolves that.

Even if departments are using the same application, it’s very common to have multiple instances in use, at different revision or version levels. Yet another common problem is that an old application is still being used, if only by one organization, one group, or even one individual.

Creating more fertile ground

Application rationalization allows you to build an IT landscape that’s efficient and less costly, one that provides a fertile ground for infrastructure innovation.

  • Application rationalization eliminates the cost of redundant licenses, support fees, and upgrade costs that occur when applications are sprawled instead of rationalized.
  • It ends confusion and duplication of effort by ensuring that only one version of the application requires maintenance, updates, and upgrades.
  • Rogue applications—sometimes a decade old and used by only one person—are eliminated, along with the resources required to keep them running.
  • There’s an end to the “IT moss” that grows on old software. By that, I mean the utilities, conversion software, and other middleware needed to keep them working within a more modern infrastructure.

There are many other benefits; we talk about some of them here.

Digging deep to get to the root of things

Application rationalization would be easier if there were just one IT garden, and just one gardener. But there isn’t. There are, at least potentially, as many IT configurations as there are organizations and organizational users in the enterprise. Finance uses one set of systems, marketing another, and security yet another.

In this kind of environment, you’re faced with two daunting challenges. The first: dig deep to the root of things to uncover all the redundant, one-off, and otherwise inefficient applications. Second: convince the business owners—almost by definition averse to change—to buy in and embrace the process of application rationalization. That means making a business case in business language to the business owners: tech talk won’t get the job done here.

Which of the two challenges is greater depends on your business, but they’re both tough. The good news is: Apptio helps with both.

Gathering the TCO of applications into one basket

Apptio's SaaS products help track all of the costs associated with applications used across the enterprise—no matter how old they are or how infrequently they’re used. And we help translate that IT data into language the business understands (i.e. total cost of ownership, services consumed, projects requested), representing information in a context that’s understandable and relevant to each business owner and user.

Explore the link here, and I think you’ll quickly see why application rationalization is a critical best practice for ensuring your IT infrastructure garden is well-tended.

application rationalization TCO analysis

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