At war, the first step consists of getting clear visibility into the battle field opponents. To do so, each soldier is identified with a certain rank, and occupies a specific role at a precise location. As an IT commander, you need to get the same clarity by making an inventory of your applications. You must understand how and where your applications are used, and by whom. Specifically, this means you need to know where applications are deployed in your organization, how applications support business activities, the lifecycles and costs of your applications, and how applications interact with each other.
In the army, sergeants, lieutenants, and colonels provide generals with this visibility. In your IT organization, rely on your team to gather this critical intel. Name application portfolio managers and technology portfolio managers as your officers and enroll application owners and business owners as your sergeants. Portfolio managers will ask application and business owners to provide information about the technical details of your applications, and how applications support business processes or capabilities.
The second step consists of strategically moving, removing, and improving battalions and regiments and assign them their battlefield role. As the commander in chief of your IT landscape, you will assess your applications, check how well they serve the business, where they are deployed, and whether they are aging. Based on this assessment, you’re going to take action on your applications, decide whether applications need to be removed, moved to the cloud or improved. Like in the army where officers provide reports on the status of their troops, you can get this information from the team you previously organized.
The third step involves ensuring that regiments are well supported. Generals routinely check food, energy supply, equipment, and usable infrastructure, so the regiment can march confidently towards enemy lines and the looming battle. Generals have to measure risk of failure, and potentially mitigate potential risk. Just like a general does, you should ensure that all the software technology components of your IT portfolio support your applications and are not at risk of obsolescence. If the technology components that support your business applications are not updated regularly, minor abnormalities can quickly lead to chain reactions with major consequences such as cyberattacks, performance deterioration, instability and other risks. To reduce obsolescence risk, you can track technology components’ end of life, and plan upgrades and related budget. To automate this process, you can connect to external online libraries that contain information about end-of-life dates and can help you reduce the risks associated with obsolete technologies.
By achieving each of these steps, you build a stronger IT portfolio capable of fostering innovation and supporting business digitalization. General builds strong armies by having a clear view into their divisions, assessing their strengths and strategically positioning them on the battlefield, while reducing risks tied to equipment, supply, and infrastructure. Like an army general, you can build an efficient and powerful IT portfolio by getting visibility into your IT assets, assessing these assets, and removing any obsolescence risks tied to the technology components that support your business applications.
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