At a time when successful organizations are characterized by how “dynamic” and “agile” they are, applications have become the integral component of an enterprise’s flexibility.
1. Why Legacy Applications never Retire?
6) Any application that includes information that the business needs and uses is legacy and necessary to be continued and/or transformed, which requires another IT project to make that happen. More restrict, any application that goes into production...is now legacy
2. IT Application Rationalization Driven by Business Initiatives
- To address a business pain point. Rationalization efforts must be incorporated in a business-led effort to address a business pain point. The result of this was convoluted business processes to mapping to this myriad of systems. The business wanted/needed a change and drove a project to develop more coherent business processes. These processes were deployed over a layer that abstracts the systems. In this process, components were pulled from various applications to provide needed functionality for business process activities. As a byproduct, a few (only a few) applications were retired. The bottom line, application rationalization projects rarely if ever stand on their own. They don't get out of the gate.
- Successful application rationalization, like most things in IT, must be a business led initiative. If done to improve operational effectiveness, reduce costs or avoid business risk, the buy-in exists throughout the organization shall perform the required work. Otherwise, you have IT trying to push a rope uphill.
- An AR project generally goes through 3 phases.
1) Phase 1/”Woo, a lot of applications there”: In this phase, IT and or Business are confronted with the limits of the complexity of their application portfolio: there are a lot of applications, applications provide overlapping functionalities, there is no 'official' list of the corporate applications, no clear ownership of the applications
- The reduction of the complexity of the application portfolio. Complexity is #of apps, #of vendors, supporting cost, development platforms. A better approach to tackling the application portfolio complexity (or business IT alignment in general) is a combination IT organizational and IT management process changes. Including implementation of concepts like Business Architecture, the creation of an EA function, EA board, Program/Project portfolio management, IT service portfolio management.