For example, these companies may have gone through several mergers and acquisitions, and had to integrate legacy systems of the acquired company with their own systems. They may have expanded their business overseas and let the local teams determine the IT policy without collaborating enough or controlling local IT investments. In many cases this leads to application redundancy. Additionally, the increasing use of new cloud applications has created information silos, bringing even more opacity to IT systems
As a consequence, IT costs have soared and IT departments lack the flexibility to develop new solutions requested by the business.
To optimally manage the IT portfolio, IT leaders now need to reduce complexity and streamline their IT assets. The recommended method to accomplish this consists of first taking an inventory, then assessing IT assets, and eventually being in a position to transform the IT portfolio.
This eBook focuses on the inventory part, and describes how to optimize inventory and bring visibility to IT assets in 4 steps.
Step 1: Define relevant assessment criteria
The first step to bringing visibility to IT assets consists of defining relevant assessment criteria when taking an inventory. This is a fundamental step because, before taking an inventory, it allows IT leaders to keep only the relevant criteria, helping save time and resources. While an application can be defined through different perspectives such as costs, lifecycles, underlying software technologies, functional scope and risks, only application costs and lifecycles might be of interest for one company’s specific needs.
Step 2: Collect IT assets in a decentralized manner
The second step consists of collecting IT assets in a decentralized manner using a collaborative approach. By splitting the work of collecting application data between application owners and business owners, IT portfolio managers make sure they get accurate and up-to-date information, and can therefore better assess their IT assets. The best approach to achieve this is to set up collaborative workflows that enable portfolio managers, application owners and business owners to communicate with each other and schedule tasks.
Step 3: Store collected data in a central repository
The third step is about making sure that application data is stored and consolidated in a central repository, providing “a single version of the truth”. The best way to achieve this is to use a common database, sharing the same objects between users – including those who are geographically dispersed. It is also worth noting that this common repository is not limited to portfolio management objects, but can contain objects of a different nature, such as risk or architecture items, leading to better decision making and superior enterprise governance.
Step 4: Share the status of your portfolio through custom reports
The fourth step is about sharing the status of the IT portfolio through several reports. Indeed, the status of the IT portfolio needs to be shared with the management team to improve decision making and facilitate change. For example, reports can include application costs, application lifecycles - such as Gantt charts - and vendor dependency reports.
You can download the eBook, “4 Steps to Bring Visibility to your IT Assets,” which covers the inventory phase of IT portfolio management by clicking here.
Two other blog posts presenting eBooks for the evaluation and the transformation of the IT portfolio are being written as we speak, so stay tuned!