COVID-19 - The Time for Application Rationalization Is Now More Than Ever


Digital Transformation is no different. At the moment, we are perhaps seeing the greatest forced transformation since the invention of the internet, as firms around the globe (Orbus included) are required to close their offices and offer every employee the right to work from home.

Seismic changes in how firms function during the COVID-19 pandemic can offer insights to enterprise architects

In tumultuous times, the biggest winners are generally those who can keep their heads and spot the silver linings amongst the clouds. Digital Transformation is no different. At the moment , we are perhaps seeing the greatest forced transformation since the invention of the internet, as firms around the globe (Orbus included) are required to close their offices and offer every employee the right to work from home.  

At the same time, the ripples from COVID-19 are already causing a sizeable impact to the world economy, with central banks already predicting major hits to global growth  and economists  speculating on long run impacts to the way we do business as everyone reacts to industry wipeouts, global supply chain disruption and a culture of social distancing . 

Given the disruption incoming there has never been a more important time to focus on cutting costs, and with the shifts to video conferencing and working in the cloud, w hat better area to focus on than slashing your application costs? 

A workforce suddenly working on remote laptop devices can be a very swift way to reveal what in your software portfolio is  really essential to the running of the firm, and what is merely “nice to have” or worse.  Despite the growth in SaaS solutions and the cloud, many firms are still likely to have applications stuck on office-based desktops or servers. The question then becomes, which operations are affected?  Are seemingly vital applications unnecessary once stakeholders are forced to stop using it?   

Let me stress here that this is best done as a follow-up to the basics of Application Rationalization.  Our research suggests that the average enterprise has around 928 different applications in use, and so finding low hanging fruit is likely to be easy even outside of the current situation. E liminating applications with very high Total Cost of Ownership  (TCO) or legacy redundancy (e.g. Office 2013 when the rest are using Office 365) is a great first step.  iServer's application architecture  options give architects the information they need, with the Application Scoring view mapping every application by business and technical fit and demonstrating cost for each.  

With the “quick wins” taken care of, architects can look to using data from remote work situations to find more areas for cost saving. One of the larger challenges you may face is simply tracking the usage of software remotely. Though there is  tracking software available, adding yet another application to your portfolio in order to remove another application might not be th e best idea. More importantly, the level of intrusion required for such software is likely to have negative effects on morale and could be subject to falsities.  iServer's central repository can alleviate this issue, though you will still need buy in from internal stakeholders. 

In addition, be careful when wielding the knife: unknown dependencies are a risk.  While it can be tempting to take advantage of the remoteness of stakeholders to breeze past any objections, there is always the possibility that a seemingly unimportant application is vital because it supports other, far more important applications.  

Not necessarily every change will involve cost reduction, either. Though the aim of application rationalization is to reduce the application portfolio , do not miss the opportunity for upgrades. If operations have shut down due to software that is insufficiently remote or mobile, then this situation will also provide a clear impetus to invest and let your entire firm be remote ready.  

The world’s best companies all tend to share the characteristic of coming out of a crisis even stronger than before . The impacts from COVID-19 are sure to be large and wide ranging and will require every firm to be at their very best to ensure their survival and prosperity.  By slashing your application costs and modernizing  the application portfolio across the firm, firms will be ready to face any future disruption. Orbus Software’s own application portfolio gives us no trouble to work remotely, so  get in touch to find out more about how we can help.