Application Portfolio Management
Decision Focus supporting Application Portfolio Management will play a key part in reducing the cost of running the application estate by 20%
One of the world’s leading drinks business were undertaking an IS Transformation Programme to change the way IS services were provided to almost 40,000 employees, operating in 180 countries around the world.
The IS and Business Services Division of the client, selected Decision Focus to help introduce Application
Portfolio Management (APM) processes using their flexible web-based decision support platform for
To make the right IT optimisation decisions, the client needed to understand how well key business processes were being supported by current applications. To establish the required management overviews took significant time and effort since data was spread across multiple places and stored in different formats and even when data was
consolidated it soon became outdated. Furthermore, there was no consistent approach to measure and track the business and IT value of existing applications which made it difficult to consistently identify areas for improvement.
Decision Focus established a single, consistent view of the client’s application estate. The solution was fully role-based which meant that the responsibility of updating application details could be federated out to the applications owners. The implementation included a simple way to determine potential application dispositions and provided the client with a platform to introduce further improvements to support on-going IT optimisation decisions.
The client now has a single inventory of the global application estate; the improved visibility is helping to generate insights which in turn are driving optimisation opportunities for savings that can be reinvested in the business. The client is expecting that the supporting Application Portfolio Management will play a key part in reducing the cost of running the application estate by 20%. This will bring spending in line with industry average application delivery costs as a proportion of net sales volume.
“Decision Focus have been instrumental in helping us to introduce and operationalise application portfolio management processes”
Global Application Lead
The journey to Application Portfolio Management
The client had initiated IT transformation in order to maximise operational and cost efficiencies as well as improve service delivery. Since a large proportion of IT budget was spent sustaining and maintaining existing business applications, they needed to establish full visibility of the current application landscape in order to identify future areas for improvement.
“Making IT resource consumption transparent and understandable to business leaders enables healthy business discussions around how to shift resources to where they will do the most good for the whole business.”
Forrester Research, Inc.
Previous attempts had been made to gather data about the application estate but after the initial data collection effort the value of the information to support decisions around investing, consolidating, modernising, or replacing applications rapidly decreased as there was no easy way to keep the data current.
Implementing Application Portfolio Management
The initial implementation of Decision Focus focused on the North American market, the largest business unit accounting for about a third of the net sales and around 45% of operating profit. The business unit were undertaking an application data gathering exercise as part of a locally-driven optimisation initiative and were consolidating their application data in a spreadsheet.
The primary focus for the first phase of the implementation was to demonstrate the value of moving from a spreadsheet-based inventory to a central application repository which could be shared by application owners, service delivery and architects. The first phase also aimed to provide a simple, method to support the North America team identify optimisation candidates based on a set of business and IT questions that helped categorise applications to help identify potential application dispositions.
Keeping up the momentum
The challenge most organisations face when they undertake APM is how to sustain the momentum beyond the initial implementation of the application inventory. To ensure that APM gets properly embedded into the organisation, the ownership of the application data needs to be federated out to each application owner. Simon Vaughan, a Senior
Consultant at Decision Focus explains how Decision Focus helped the client address this challenge:
“To get APM organisational embedded we focus on a simple, role-based approach that enables each application owner to have a view of their applications with a well understood expectation of what information they are responsible for maintaining.”
Simon Vaughan, Senior Consultant at Decision Focus
The first phase helped introduce process support to control the introduction of new applications, identify duplications and assess applications to determine value based on five business and IT measures. APM is also a culture change and the client are continuing the APM journey with ongoing support from Decision Focus, has been extended to underpin Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management processes and is now in the process of being rolled out to other regions.
“Decision Focus have been invaluable with helping us deliver this capability. The knowledge of the product and enthusiasm of the staff has set the standards around how we should partner with niche suppliers.”
Global Application Lead
About the industry
Almost 40% of the world’s alcoholic beverage consumption involves branded drinks that are usually large companies operating at an international level and investing heavily in marketing to promote image and encourage consumer loyalty. Decision Focus have helped define and embed processes which are enabling a global drinks producer to manage their portfolio of business applications through an implementation of their platform for
Application Portfolio Management (APM):
- Central inventory of all business applications
- Role-based access and alerts to help keep data
- Identify areas for improvement based on application
business and IT value
WHY MOVE TO DECISION FOCUS
Ease of use and simplicity of ownership. Our complete solution, supporting all GRC stakeholders, comes in one low license cost. We can quickly help you tailor it to fit your exact needs and give your users a system they love to use.
Risk Dashboard (example)
Risk Landscape (example)
A fully integrated GRC system
Decision Focus is not only for governance, it is not only for risk and not only for compliance. Decision Focus is a fully integrated system that enables you to manage all three areas in a single platform, which also supports Internal Audit. No more silos. We offer you a solution that breaks down internal barriers and lets you manage all aspects of GRC in a simple manner - with the same line of thinking and a common terminology throughout your organization. It will save you time and money while enabling you to solve more diversified tasks.
A system for everybody
If you can use a smart phone, you can use Decision Focus. In fact, you can use it on your smart phone. We believe GRC should be embedded in your organization so everybody with a role in GRC feels confident with the tools. No more ivory towers. It’s extremely user-friendly and easy to configure. It is designed to intuitively engage employees at all levels, even those who only use the system every third month. And this is not something we just say. Decision Focus has one of the highest NPS (Net Promotor Score) in the industry.