Its hard sometimes to make things simple. Sometimes you have to start with complexity to finish with simplicity!

To each his or her own.

Of course, if you are a consultant you should add 30 pages to that.

The measure of a solution isn’t in the end the cost to build and deploy it. The value and measure of a solution is the benefit it brings to the organization. Now this can be process improvement, income generation, mission delivery or income recovery. I am sure there are even more ways one application can make a different for an organization.

It is an interesting dance in the end. I argued for many years that in building out a solution map with a customer you should help them move towards application portfolio management. The problem with APM is that it is complex. You can gather the information but without the right analysis tool that information is effectively just well data.

Step’s to an APM portfolio:

  1. Capture all .exe’s and DLL’s in your organization both on servers and on desktops
  2. Use or leverage an application that sorts exe’s and dll’s into the I am part of this application
  3. Get rid of DLL’s that don’t have enterprise or operating/server OS application. This can be old and frankly stuff you don’t want.
  4. Take a look at your new master list of applications.

What applications do we have deployed today.

What do those applications do (primary function)

Are there sub functions in any application that are duplicated

If possible begin removing duplication

Publish a new standard application list

First off, if you know what the functionality and capabilities of the applications you have deployed are, you can more effectively consider what it is you are trying to do. The complexity of an organization is frankly what you have deployed today. If you can get to the base functions your IT world becomes easier. Once you know exactly what is out there, you don’t have to stress about deploying new solutions. You can simply do a functionality roadmap.

Building a Functionality roadmap from your APM output:

  1. We have the following X applications deployed
  2. They have the following Y features
  3. They have announced in the next version they will add z features.
  4. Let’s call this – the baseline.
  5. What deviates from our baseline

one-off applications approved for deployment

mobile applications that require unique application of functionality

duplication within security applications

Based on this roadmap you begin to see what you have, what you will have and what you need to remove. Effectively yes this is in the end a more complex process than the simplicity movement would call for. But its ok to implement a complex process (APM) that in the end results in a streamlined enterprise.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.