Application Portfolio Management Software
Application portfolio management software offers greater stability, better user experiences, and more efficient oversight for IT departments. When discussing operational costs for IT departments, it’s often thrown around that somewhere between 70-90% of any given IT department’s budget is spent on maintaining the existing infrastructure.
With this in mind, making sure this budget is spent intelligently doesn’t only benefit the IT department, but furthers the organization’s goals as a whole.
What is Application Portfolio Management Software?
Applications are the lifeblood of an organization’s data. They’re used to view, change, create, calculate, and manage any information necessary for a specific business process or need.
Application portfolios are generally built up over time. A company often begins with one or only a handful of different applications to manage data, but as the abilities of the existing programs dwindle due to age, the needs of the organization change, technology improves, and mergers occur, most IT departments wind up attempting to manage dozens, if not hundreds, of different applications. This is not only inefficient, but also results in IT teams taking a reactive approach to management. They can’t visualize what’s happening with the different programs, predict failures, coordinate efforts well, or carry out countless other tasks with the degree of precision users expect from modern technology, let alone ensure a smooth workflow that keeps a business running profitably.
Application portfolio management software ties everything together. When quality application portfolio management software is used, everything from aging legacy software to newer cloud-based technology can be overseen from a single panel. This allows IT departments to be modern, agile, proactive, and save an organization money overall.
What Application Portfolio Management Software Should Track
There are many different types of app analytics that application portfolio management software can track, but some of the most crucial include:
Size: As the size of the application increases, its stability generally decreases due to the increase of coding errors.
Age: Legacy software, or older, and outdated apps, tend to be the most problematic, so knowing the relative age helps identify which are likely to have issues and be good candidates for replacement.
Significance: Knowing the relative significance that an app has on business operations and/or profitability makes it easier to prioritize maintenance and repairs.
Performance: How an app is performing is a key indicator in user experience and can be used to identify issues before reports come in about failures.
Number of Users: Like significance, the number of users on an app can help prioritize changes as well as identify if more resources need to be made available.
Benefits of Using Application Portfolio Management Software
While executive leadership tends to focus more on how making a purchase can help decrease costs, and application portfolio management software delivers in this aspect, there’s much more to it than that. Although the bottom line is impacted in a positive way, IT professionals are just as pleased with the benefits that lead to the cost savings as well.
Resource Management: By using analytics, the IT department can allocate resources to the most mission-critical apps or to whatever processes need the most attention at the time. Naturally, the proactive approach afforded by analytics also makes resource management more efficient.
Portfolio Complexity Reduction: As noted earlier, app portfolios tend to become incredibly complex as companies grow and develop. In some cases, the infrastructure used to run operations becomes a tangled mess, in which the IT department is essentially putting out fires day by day. By using software to manage everything in one comprehensive dashboard, managing it all becomes a seamless process.
Improved Time-to-Value: Oftentimes, software is measured in something referred to as “time-to-value,” or TTV. This is the length of time that passes from the time something is created until the time the end-user can adopt it and the company receives value for the investment. By reducing this timeline, and getting things to the end-user faster, the company sees returns quicker.
Compliance and Governance: Whether tracking the results produced by vendors or ensuring all regulatory guidelines are followed, software can ensure the right protocols are followed.
Business Support and Innovation: There was once a time when IT was mostly on staff as support services. Professionals might set up desktops for employees or install apps, and then work to maintain them. This is still a core part of IT, but agile departments are a crucial component of running a profitable enterprise overall. For example, application portfolio management software can help the IT department better align its goals with the overall company goals by allotting resources and development time to whatever aspects impact the business goals. Moreover, this synergy carries over into innovation. The team can now identify technological developments that will make the company more competitive or come up with new ways to top competitors.