To achieve this, the obvious things to consider would be running costs, business value and operational indicators while engaging with owners to get real life information. Therefore, in this light, ITPM is a great tool that support daily management and assessment of the landscape BUT are these daily management indicators enough for you to enable and drive changes to achieve real value in transformation?
Imagine yourself as the property agent responsible for the management of an office block: to start with a spreadsheet of all the tenants and their rent is needed. Then there is the water, electricity and telephone costs, the number of people, the level of internet service needed - so you can see that we’re starting to build up a relatively comprehensive spreadsheet now.
Let’s now factor in building maintenance that needs to be scheduled in, fire drills, insurances, tenants changing and even handling complaints and requests for changes… now this requires several spreadsheets that cross reference each other…Can’t require much more that, can it?
The above would perfectly support all the regular analysis you need to do to keep the business profitable and identify minor change required to improve its value: beyond daily management, you may hear of a gas supplier offering similar services for a better price or decide to rent a few offices out for meeting booking at a higher rate. But what in your spreadsheet is going to warn you that the new boiler installed 2 years ago requires specific knowledge this new provider doesn't have, that the structure of the meeting rooms is not fit for purpose? How are you going to come to the conclusion that the best option is to transform those 2 offices into one larger office rented out by a bigger company and potentially bringing new clients?
Much like our building analogy, the Applications in our estate require managing and controlling in a more rigorous manner than just a simple spreadsheet – for this reason we chose to refer to ITPM rather than just APM.
ITPM is the ideal tool to manage your IT assets. Based on collaboration, it gathers and presents relevant information through inventory and assessment in order to be consumed efficiently, to raise attention to main areas of interest. However, by looking at your IT Portfolio from an Architecture and Risk Analysis viewpoint, it will provide a more complete picture to analyse the impact of change and help drive transformation. Let’s take a look at the reason why…
Usually the ITPM adventure starts with key questions and objectives: reduction of the number of applications to achieve targets, improvement of visibility on vendor support to avoid unpleasant surprises on contract renewal, identification of application redundancies to optimise functional support, externalisation of application support...These goals are drivers for inventory and assessment to collect data and identify the applications to analyse more closely. To maximise the value of your analysis it is important to identify these questions, understanding they will evolve through iterations.
The analysis of your IT Portfolio is based on a set of criteria you collect through inventory and assessments: popular choices are total costs of ownership and their breakdown, business value, application criticality, intensity of usage and application lifecycles. Candidates for transformation are identified through reports like the Gartner TIME report1 first identifying the applications to eliminate, invest in or tolerate based on chosen criteria of analysis.
However, if scenarios analysis is limited to those criteria, we will never have visibility of the high-tech boiler and its special service knowledge. What about leveraging information regarding the number of interfaces to other critical systems? The current projects with these applications in their scope? How much of capabilities the applications cover functionally? What is the technical debt? How much high-impact risk applications are subject to? Completing your analysis with architectural and risk-based criteria highlight impacts of change which are valuable during the road mapping exercise. It supports more informed decisions and engage both Portfolio Managers and Architects through projects in the IT Assets landscape evolution.
Therefore, we can see that architectural projects and ITPM analysis share a lot in common. Saying that however, it is not uncommon to find the respective processes acting separately. Transformation will have more chance of being effective when both Architects and Portfolio Managers work collaboratively and feed information to each other as they are both contexts that could potentially impact the life and evolution of an application. It is only when this happens, that you will have a complete view over your environment and assets to ensure that you can support those ever-changing business requirements.
Reference Source: 1 Application Portfolio Triage: TIME for APM