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

Tools to facilitate Application Portfolio Management and Modernization

apps modernization.pngRecently TechTarget published their definition of Applications Modernization


“Application modernization is the refactoring, re-purposing or consolidation of legacy software programming to align it more closely with current business needs.”


This to me seemed to be a relatively reactive perspective to modernization. Once the alignment between effort expended and value generated is completed on a business’s application portfolio, the analysis needs to be maintained. Part of modernization needs to include the effort for the on-going governance and assessment of the environment.


There are a number of tools on the market to facilitate this. The one we use within HP ES is:

HP Application Portfolio Management


There is a short video made last year that provide a high level view of both the product and the service: 

Video on systems of record and systems of engagement

About a year ago, I did a series of posts on application transformation and doing more with more. This included videos from Geoffrey Moore that discussed moments that make a difference for a business


A couple terms used during that series were systems of engagement and systems of record. These concepts can be important when addressing your application portfolio and the organization's application transformation needs.


The following video (produced by HP) provides more details on that concept.



Looks like it was filmed around Dallas, based on the DART train at the beginning.

Where to go with application transformation?

no place to go.pngThere are a couple of topics I’ll be talking about at HP Discover: systems of record and application transformation. I’ve done a number of blog posts related to this space over the years, but there still seems to be quite a bit of confusion about some of the terms used in applications transformation.


Systems of record are those systems that store the history and detail of business transactions… Systems of engagement are those loosely structured, conversational systems that sit on the edge of the business the employees, customers, partners interact with. Until recently, organizations didn’t think there was a difference in their portfolio.


Almost all organization systems were based on their being a scarcity of resources (computing, storage…). Many of these limitations are no longer valid. How we think about our systems needs to change.


The big question though is: What to do about it?  How do you get started? Alphabetically?!? There needs to be a better way.


I was at a conference recently where a very innovative leader said: “There is no need for strategy any more. Just throw you applications away and start over.” Clearly, this is a person that has never really had a significant installed base. He also stated “If any startup isn’t embarrassed by their first release, they waited too long.” Most enterprise organizations don’t have the luxury of this slash and burn approach.


There needs to be a good way to approach the problem of both reviewing the existing environment and determining what new opportunities can be addressed and that is what we hope to talk about.


Current situation analysis is definitely a good place to start. The approach needs to have measures based on the business needs and the constraints of the organization. Having a canned technique is helpful but may not address the true needs of the organization, so understanding the definition of value is important. Examples could be to evaluate the applications on:

Whatever the technique may be that is right for you, the approach needs to define what the organization values and who the sponsor for the work will be. Executive support is crucial for these activities – so be ready to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question.

Application transformation allowing you do to more with more

Today, HP is announcing new applications transformation capabilities to help organizations do more with more -- more mobile devices, more platforms in a wider variety of locations.


Everyone is familiar with how traditional IT applications consume the majority of the budget keeping the existing organization working. These systems of record build up over time and need to be examined periodically for the value they provide. Over the next couple of days, I am going to put out some posts about the changing expectations of applications and the transformations that can take place in business and the new levels of business value that can be generated.


To help with this I’ve included some videos from Geoffrey Moore so here is the first one that introduces the concepts of systems of record and systems of engagement:


Geoffrey Moore video 1.png 

Yes, organizations need to do more with more and if it is well planned it can even cost less too.

Why and Cloud bursting?

cloud.pngA number of folks who are at the HP Master the Cloud event in Toronto got together last night for dinner and we had a pretty wide ranging conversation discussing technology and technology adoption.


At one point, someone at the table said "I understand Cloud Bursting", and naturally with my slightly contrarian nature I responded “Oh really, explain it to me, since I don’t think there are many people who actually do understand it. How does it work?” I realized I was backing them into a corner that probably no one – especially me – could get out of. I admitted to them that I was being unfair.


The reason I say that is that in order to answer the question, you need to understand what the organization is actually trying to do. What constraints are being placed on their environment? How do they measure value? What kind of software resources do they have available?


It is easy to say “cloud bursting” but quite a different level of expertise is required to actually implement it in software so it works reliably and securely. There is a level of architecture sophistication that is hard to find. I can guarantee only a tiny percentage of current IT systems can support this level of flexibility. It is definitely “doable” -- just not a simple answer and not everyone is going to be willing to pay for what it will take.


There are many aspects of the movement to a more flexible IT environment that have similar underlying complexities. It’s like using the 5 Whys to get to the root cause. It can really make you think about what’s important.

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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.
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.