Application Portfolio Rationalization

Technology applications can grow like weeds in a company. Left unchecked, they choke processes and drag down performance levels. Redundancies develop, and software rollouts aren’t coordinated for maximum efficiency.

If this situation has surfaced during TBI’s initial assessment of your company’s environment, we can provide the expertise to assist in managing your application portfolio.

This involves:

  • Evaluating each application for its value to your overall strategic business plan;
  • Assigning a status to each application (e.g. stop, continue, enhance); and
  • Brokering vendor agreements should outsourcing be deemed feasible.

IT Rationalization can be performed at several different levels, depending on the business need and the time frames available. We have outlined below two of the key drivers that affect the approach, level of effort and timelines.

Current Business Situation:

The first driver in determining a rationalization approach is current environment, including business situation and operational maturity. It is important for anyone undertaking a rationalization project to clearly understand the business situation, identify where the organization is in the strategic process, and which portions of the rationalization process need to be initiated or perhaps, redone. For example, some clients may have already determined that they need to outsource a majority of their applications portfolio, an, in the interest of time, prefer to move directly into the outsourcing assessment to help them decide which applications are appropriate to move to a third party. Other clients prefer to undertake a preparatory step, i.e., identifying redundancies, consolidations and targets for decommissioning, before moving into the strategic decisions around service delivery models and sourcing.


Another key driver of a rationalization approach is scope. Scope should be addressed first at an organizational level –rationalization can typically be performed at either the corporate level or at the Business Unit level. Scope should then be addressed at the geographic level – rationalization can be addressed to the global, country or regional levels. Next, the appropriate business functions should be addressed – rationalization can address all business functions or can be targeted to specific business functions. The last dimension of scope to be considered is the type of application to be rationalized – rationalization can focus on business applications, or can be limited, for example, to tools, utilities and End User COTS. Clearly, the scope of the rationalization activity will directly affect the level of effort, timelines, and the potential outcomes for the client.

Our complete IT Rationalization Framework has four phases and twelve modules, three in each phase, which can be applied to any client situation based on Current Business Situation and Scope. Our modules examine multiple dimensions of the IT services, including business, applications, technology, organization, governance, and sourcing, as well as implementation and management. Flexibility is the key to our process. Business needs and requirements drive the focus of the rationalization assessment process.

TBI’s IT Rationalization Framework


Business- Application – Technology


Organization – Governance – Sourcing


Plan – Develop – Execute


Execute – Evaluate – Adjust

TBI’s team has the experience, the tools and the industry background to help you through all the phases of IT Rationalization. Application and Tools Assessment is one of our key competencies – and our extensive knowledge of the other phases of IT Rationalization enable us to make reasonable, actionable recommendations – grounded in business, functional and technical contexts. Our collaborative style will facilitate gathering the information, evaluating the information and reaching conclusions and recommendations that will work in your technical and business environment.

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