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Surprising and not-so-surprising results from an IT Applications and Services Survey – Part 3

By Ram Ponnapalli

A few weeks ago, I posted Part 2  in a series about the results of an IT applications and services survey sponsored by HP and conducted with the help of Dimensional Research. Per my first post, the objective of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the applications market with a focus on the state of the applications portfolios.

 

Here is Part 3 - continuation of the results with a few thoughts of my own:

 

Survey Methodology

  • Global survey conducted in December 2010 – January 2011
  • 645 individuals participated in the survey
  • 100% of the participants are from the IT department
  • A wide range of vertical markets were represented
  • Participants did not know HP was sponsoring the survey
  • 60% of respondents were from companies with more than 1000 employees
  • 66% of companies support more than 250 applications                      

 

 

 Ram1_merged.jpg

 

 

 

7. Asked whether their company’s IT technology strategy is constrained by their current application portfolio, an overwhelming 68% of Americas, 76% of EMEA and 72% of APJ respondents replied “yes’  

 

This is surprising in the sense that most companies are living with their application portfolios even though they know they are being hindered by them in achieving their IT goals and consequently their business goals. Unless actively governed, application portfolios tend to become sub-optimal very quickly due to redundancies, complex interfaces, sunset technologies and parallel platforms. These in turn lead to less agile enterprises that continuously find themselves reacting late to market drivers, thereby missing numerous opportunities.

 

 An Applications Rationalization is only the first step in the Applications Transformation journey. Once the portfolio is rationalized and modernized, it is essential that it is actively managed. A comprehensive Applications Portfolio Management practice should be established and supported by the appropriate software and tools. Your applications portfolio should be reviewed frequently to guard against application sprawl. Otherwise you will be back to square one.

 

8.  Asked whether their companies have a dedicated business owner for each application, only 64% of Americas, 74% of EMEA and 83% of APJ respondents replied in the affirmative.

 

These are good numbers but it is absolutely important to have business owners identified for all applications in the portfolio.  This is one of the important application attributes we collect during the Applications Rationalization exercise. Applications can be owned by single or multiple business units / owners. In addition to the business ownership, we also establish an IT owner and other IT resources associated with an application. It is essential to document this information and keep it up to date for:

 

These are good numbers but it is absolutely important to have business owners identified for all applications in the portfolio.  This is one of the important application attributes we collect during the Applications Rationalization exercise. Applications can be owned by single or multiple business units / owners. In addition to the business ownership, we also establish an IT owner and other IT resources associated with an application. It is essential to document this information and keep it up to date for:

 

  • Effective governance of the application portfolio
  • Understanding the full business value of each application
  • Understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO) of each application
  • Communication of application changes including retirement decisions to all relevant stakeholders

. Asked whether their companies permit employee owned devices such as smart phones and personal computers to access company applications and information,   an overwhelming  87% of Americas, 79% of EMEA and 77% of APJ respondents replied either “yes” or  “expect to do this  in the next 12 months”.

 

This underlines the importance of “Mobility” and the enterprise focus on leveraging the business benefits of providing, secure, seamless and context-aware experiences to its employees and customers. Now, more than ever, enterprises are slowly but firmly being pushed on to an irreversible path where they have to address the blending of the professional and personal lives of their employees and the need to allow company owned data to coexist with employee personal data on the same device.

 

This trend presents opportunities but also brings challenges to the enterprises in the areas of privacy, security and handling multiple end-user devices.  An Applications Rationalization exercise combined with a mobility assessment will help identify the applications to be updated to accommodate the “mobility requirements.”

 

 

I would be interested in your experiences and whether you agree with the survey findings.

 

And, if you want to learn more about ways HP can help you transform your applications, check out our info on Applications Rationalization or download our Applications Rationalization in an Instant-On World whitepaper. Also, check out Part 1 and Part 2 in this survey results series.

 

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