The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

A view on the strategic assessment of an organization’s application portfolio

apps modernization.pngLately when I’ve been thinking about an organization’s application portfolio, I’ve begun to evaluate them from a few strategic directions. Those are:

  • Resource flexibility – How do the applications support the flexibility needed by the organization. From an infrastructure perspective, it may mean the support of virtualization and cloud computing. From a business perspective, the more important concern is having systems that support the variable the use of commodities, to maximize the value generation from what’s scarce. It doesn’t matter if it is computing resources or payroll processing… is there the flexibility in the environment needed to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.
  • Mobility and collaboration – Getting the work done in the most convenient and timely way possible is becoming increasingly important. Systems need to meet the needs of a variety of users and do so effectively, no matter where they may be and on devices that change continuously. Since people are working in more locations than ever, do the applications have provisions for collaborating and handing off work effectively?
  • Automation and analytics – I used to think of analytics and automation separately, but from my perspective, the focus needs to shift to Time to Action. This means that analytics is the fuel to both automate processes and to focus attention and collaboration to enable innovative and timely resolution of opportunities.
  • Security – Systems never get more secure over time unless there is investment. A thorough assessment of the architecture and its security weaknesses needs to be done periodically.

All of these add up to decisions about where maintenance funds are spent vs. value generated for the business (and value potential). Sometimes the work that needs to be done may be boring, but prioritizing the portfolio spend defines the innovative nature of a business and our measures may need to change.

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About the Author
About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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