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Application Portfolio Rationalization: An Overview

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Application portfolio rationalization is used by CIOs and IT leaders for legacy portfolios, preparing them to meet the strict requirements put forth internally and externally. Application portfolio rationalization reshuffles the application portfolio to make it work within a set application strategy. As a result, applications are changed and adjusted to achieve a specific outcome as set forth by the business.

Often, application portfolio rationalization occurs when a business as accumulated a large number of applications that are too difficult to monitor and evaluate on a whole – this can be the result of shifts in business strategies or mergers. Application portfolio rationalization is a sort of cleanup that looks at replacing, retiring, modernizing, and consolidating your applications.


A complete application portfolio rationalization includes:


  • Assessing the state of your applications while also looking for risks and the technicalities of your application portfolio. You want to assess, primarily, for how the application meets your business needs. If you find something that needs remediation, application portfolio rationalization can help to plan that as well.
  • Identifying business goals or initiatives that require changes to your applications individually and your entire application portfolio.
  • How are your applications compared to industry peers? Are your core business applications more risky or complex than the average? Highlight benchmarks each application in your portfolio against 2000+ anonymous applications.
  • Testing the reliability of your methodologies and IT structure.
  • Preparing for the ever-changing business requirements brought on by data changes, Cloud evolutions, and mobile development.

One of the most important goals of application portfolio rationalization is to eliminate applications that do not add value to your business – whether they are simply ineffective or they are redundant.


Application Portfolio Rationalization and Readiness

CIOs must be able to look at their applications and see rationalization as the top priority for forward movement. Without an application portfolio rationalization tool, executing these steps can be quite difficult and convoluted – by the time you complete one step, another step has changed.

Application portfolio rationalization helps to strategize application and system development, enhancing business agility and help in guiding portfolio decisions. This will ensure that the best interests of the business are always part of IT development.

Even better, rationalization leads to better metrics to see how the IT contributes to the business – you are able to get answers immediately on things like cost, value, and staff time. This can help keep employees on track as well, maintaining momentum when building new systems and helping to have regular updates on projects.

How Application Portfolio Rationalization Helps CIOs & IT Leaders

CIOs and IT leaders have to work continuously to shift attention from traditional strategies to those that will help in today’s world. This includes maintaining lifecycle management of the application portfolio and continuing to build on what already exists.

Regular rationalization reviews will help to identify poor-performing applications, whether they are continually breaking, cost more to keep up, or just don’t help anymore. Then, you will be able to determine the course of action for how to remediate any situation: retirement, modification, modernization, or something else. If you need more funds or a new budget for this work, CIOs can easily articulate the costs and risks of each project.

Application Portfolio Rationalization from CAST Highlight

CAST Highlight provides the solution for application portfolio rationalization – an objective, unbiased view of the application portfolio. It focuses on application risks, the effort required to maintain and upgrade the application and the technical complexity of the portfolio.

With CAST Highlight’s solution, you will be able to:

Baseline Your Portfolio: Get a fact-based assessment of your critical applications in just a few days.

Segment to Prioritize: Identify applications that are good candidates for changes: merges, retirements, modernizations.

Set Objectives: Understand what you need to do to get to the next level – and build a plan to get there.

Continuous Monitoring: Maintaining connection to your key metrics to track health and improvement continuously.

If you are interested in our application portfolio rationalization solution, schedule a free demo today.