Too often, midsize businesses think they're not big enough to invest in application portfolio management (APM). But APM brings competitive advantages to businesses of all sizes. Here are five key benefits of application rationalization tools for midsize companies.
Midsize companies often find themselves in a tricky situation: they have hundreds of software applications and an IT landscape that’s growing more complex every day. However, they lack the type of modern application portfolio management (APM) tools that larger companies typically use.
Often, this is because midsize companies are still small enough to get away with managing their IT landscape without such tools, usually with manual processes and spreadsheets.
Unfortunately, that works until it doesn’t. If you plan to keep growing as a company, you’ll eventually need a modern APM tool.
The Perils of Manual Processes
Manual data collection is still a common practice for creating an overview of application portfolios. However, it’s a less-than-optimal approach.
First and foremost, it takes a lot of time. You have to track down different people across different teams to get the information you need, and the data quickly becomes outdated. There is also the possibility of human error at every step of the process.
When you run your analyses on outdated or inaccurate data, you might make business decisions that are not fully informed. This could negatively affect many important things, such as budgeting, cash flow, cost optimization, and cyber security.
With the right APM tool, a midsize business can gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers who still manage IT architecture with spreadsheets.
Here are five key areas where a modern APM tool makes all the difference:
1. Application Rationalization
Many application portfolios are full of apps with overlapping functionality, varying lifecycles, and redundant technologies. Such IT landscapes are chaotic and complex, resulting in company-wide inefficiencies. They are also expensive to maintain and waste money on unused and unnecessary apps and licenses.
With the right APM tool, you can rationalize your application landscape by capturing all key information about all of your applications, and view that information in a centralized, single source of truth. With an organized view of your application portfolio, you gain valuable insights that enable you to:
- Reduce application costs by 10% - 15% per year by removing redundant, outdated, or ill-fitted applications
- Increase agility, scale easier, and free up budget for innovation
- Minimize technology risk and debt by removing end-of-life and legacy applications
- Consolidate SaaS vendors and negotiate more favorable contract terms
2. Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions are a daunting task from an IT perspective. Every system and process used by both companies must be accounted for, analyzed, and harmonized.
Some immediate challenges that come with M&As are a lack of visibility into new systems and applications, security and compliance failures, and insufficient technical integration compatibility. Other challenges can include a lack of clarity in strategic direction as well as the need for change management.
A modern APM tool can run a detailed analysis of the functional and technical fit of each application in both organizations so that you can make the most informed, data-driven decisions about the new combined IT architecture. The right APM tool can help you:
- Accelerate synchronization of different systems
- Provide a single source of truth that all stakeholders can understand
- Assist with documenting the entire post-merger integration process
- Reduce IT risk with full visibility into the entire IT landscape
- Model future-state architectures to ensure the successful delivery of objectives
3. Business Capability Mapping
Business needs should shape your IT architecture. As companies change, innovate, and prepare for M&As, the supporting technology should be revisited.
Business capability mapping allows you to better strategize IT planning by connecting your business functions with the underlying applications that support those functions. In other words, business capability maps clearly illustrate the things you do and the apps that enable you to do them.
Having this information at hand in an intuitive visual format allows you to strategically invest or divest as needed. With business capability mapping, you can:
- See what your business is doing right now, and what needs to be done to meet current and future challenges
- Provide a common basis for discussion and planning, and a clear link from strategy to execution
- Accurately define roles within the business and include all appropriate stakeholders in business strategies
- Carry out highly organized mergers & acquisitions, assess risk, and prepare for innovative endeavors
4. Cloud Transformation
To execute the most successful cloud transformation possible — one in which applications, processes, and costs are all optimized — it is essential that decision making is data-driven. When the data you need for cloud migrations come from manual processes and disjointed sources (re: spreadsheets), your migrations will likely stall, falter, or not produce your desired ROI.
The right APM tool can provide the holistic view necessary to achieve high levels of data-driven ROI from cloud migration. With important information about applications, dependencies, tech components, business criticality, etc. stored in an easily accessible central repository, you can:
- Evaluate the cloud readiness of your applications and identify the best migration candidates
- Compare the impacts of planned migrations on your as-is landscape with dynamic visualizations of your target state
- See how and where newer cloud systems fit with your legacy versions
- Integrate your systems with leading cloud providers to automate data importation
- Implement secure and repeatable processes for future migration initiatives
5. Data Compliance
Increasingly complex data privacy regulations mean that organizations must actively track compliance across their application portfolio. You always need to know which data is collected, how it is processed, where it is stored, and how to quickly access the data to make key changes.
However, manually collecting all the data you need for compliance can be a complex, time-consuming endeavor, and you still may end up with incomplete or inaccurate information.
A modern APM tool gives you a clear overview of all of your organization’s data and enables you to see and analyze your entire application portfolio, so you can identify areas where compliance risk needs to be addressed. You can easily:
- Identify different types of data and where it’s stored
- See how data moves throughout your IT architecture and all the apps and services it touches
- Detect and assess risk across apps and systems
- Know what measures to implement to ensure continued compliance
Optimal IT Architecture at Any Size
Rapidly evolving markets and technology, combined with growing economic uncertainty, present the same challenges to companies of all sizes. This means that manual data collection with spreadsheets will become more and more untenable as markets evolve faster, M&As accelerate, and IT landscapes grow more complex.
LeanIX gives you a one-stop shop for managing your entire IT landscape. You gain the visibility, actionable data, roadmaps, flexibility, and confidence to optimize your IT architecture while reducing costs, expediting timelines and significantly boosting overall efficiency.
You’ll no longer have to manually collect the data you need to manage your IT infrastructure. LeanIX regularly sends surveys to designated persons throughout the organization to collect the data you need. It then automatically inputs the data into a single, centralized source of truth.
You can easily access all the information you need from this single repository, generate reports, and utilize intuitive dashboards and visualization tools.
With the clarity and simplicity of LeanIX, your company can:
- Rationalize your applications and retire legacy apps and systems
- Synergize different systems faster and easier during mergers and acquisitions
- Map all of your applications and dependencies to business capabilities
- Plan and accelerate cloud transformations and identify the best candidates for cloud migration
- Reduce security and compliance risk
- Significantly save on IT costs and increase IT efficiency and agility
Want to learn more? Visit us today and schedule a free demo to see what LeanIX can do for your organization.