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Discover Your Applications

Most application strategies fail. Arm yourself with the necessary information and team structure for a successful application portfolio strategy.

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Contributors

  • Hilary Horlock, Senior Enterprise Architect, Provincial Health Services Authority
  • Yasin Alsagoff, Senior Manager, IT Architecture, Kamehameha Schools
  • Don Gleason, Partner, DGCpartners LLC

Your Challenge

  • Application sprawl, and the inefficiency and risk that comes with it, has become inevitable for most organizations.
  • Strategic planning for your applications becomes extraordinarily difficult with poor visibility into the portfolio and uncertainly around the business use of applications and the impact a change may cause.
  • Moreover, unawareness of the portfolio means unawareness of application risk and potential harm to current operations.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Don’t waste your time: Assessments that ignore the business use and value of your applications do not provide sufficient information for strategic decisions about your portfolio.
  • Discover what’s unknown over validating what’s known: Bottom-up approaches include only the apps and features you know. Take the top-down approach by decomposing business processes to uncover the use of your apps and shadow IT not on your radar.
  • An inventory should be more than a list of apps: Treat your inventory like a catalog of features and services you currently have available to provide to the business.

Impact and Result

  • Use application-capability maps to determine how your portfolio currently aligns to business capabilities across the organization, and uncover things such as redundancies, hidden features, shadow IT, and technology gaps in your business’ operations.
  • Build a detailed application portfolio inventory, which will act as the single source of truth on your applications.
  • Make application portfolio strategy not just an initiative but an ongoing practice that will capture, advise, and communicate the changes in capabilities, changes to technology, and changes in how the portfolio supports the business.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should discover your applications, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Lay the foundations

Understand the current state of your portfolio and application portfolio management practice. Build in the foundations to launch an application portfolio strategy and ongoing application portfolio management practice.

2. Align capabilities and applications

Determine how to engage and communicate with stakeholders and develop a plan of attack. Use application-capability mapping to expose and collect vital information on your applications.

3. Build a detailed inventory

Capture the results of application-capability mapping in a detailed inventory to create a single source of truth on your portfolio. Build the action plan to carry out the rest of your application portfolio strategy.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a six call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Lay the foundations

Call #1 - Assess the current state of your portfolio and application portfolio management practice. Determine the objectives behind your application portfolio strategy.
Call #2 - Discuss the application attributes needed to inform your strategy and approaches to collecting an initial inventory.

Guided Implementation #2 - Align capabilities and applications

Call #1 - Discuss how to decompose your organization into iterations. Determine the priority of your iterations and which stakeholders need to be involved.
Call #2 - Build the skills and apply the tools for application-capability mapping.

Guided Implementation #3 - Build a detailed inventory

Call #1 - Leverage your maps and findings to build a detailed application inventory.
Call #2 - Build in the action items to complete your application discovery and your application portfolio strategy and establish an application portfolio management practice.

Onsite Workshop

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Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Lay the Foundations of Your Strategy

The Purpose

Build the foundations to launch an application portfolio strategy and ongoing application portfolio management practice.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Establish a common definition of “application”
  • Define IT and business goals for the application portfolio
  • Assign roles and responsibilities

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Introduction to the project.

1.2

Define application.

  • Organizational definition of application
1.3

Identify motivations and goals.

  • Project goals
1.4

Present a best-practice application portfolio roadmap process.

1.5

Plan iterations and review roles and responsibilities.

  • Outline of steps, roles, and responsibilities of portfolio strategy

Module 2: Use Application-Capability Mapping

The Purpose

Use application-capability mapping to expose and collect vital information on your applications.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Uncover shadow IT
  • Reveal redundancies
  • Align applications and capabilities

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Map business capabilities for your selected business unit.

  • Business capability map for one business unit
2.2

Add applications to the capability map.

  • Application capability maps for one business unit
2.3

Define application capabilities.

  • Application capability definitions
2.4

Review redundancies, gaps, and shadow IT applications.

2.5

Repeat business capability mapping process for second business unit.

Module 3: Establish Your Discovery Practice

The Purpose

Capture the results of application-capability mapping in a detailed inventory to create a single source of truth on your portfolio. Build the action plan to carry out the rest of your application portfolio strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • List of application SMEs
  • List of application attributes
  • The plan to complete application discovery and the application portfolio strategy

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Collect basic information for applications.

3.2

Identify the lifecycle stage of your applications.

  • Initial lifecycle roadmap for applications
3.3

Determine next iterations.

  • Plan for future iterations
3.4

Discuss future steps.

Member Testimonials

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After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Twin Disc

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

2

One Call Care Management

Workshop

9/10

N/A

20

State of Ohio - Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

Guided Implementation

10/10

$10,000

5

Apega

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

University of Exeter

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

University of Western States

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

10

Natural Resources Canada

Workshop

8/10

$14,500

16

Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners

Guided Implementation

10/10

$6,618

35

Tokyo Electron US Holdings, Inc.

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

City Colleges of Chicago

Guided Implementation

4/10

N/A

N/A

MUFG Bank Mexico Sociedad Anonima Institucion de Banca Multiple Filial

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Social Security Administration

Workshop

9/10

$13,236

10

County Of Pitt

Guided Implementation

10/10

$33,091

20