Retiring Applications in any organization

Portfolio Rationalization. Retirement of Applications. Give it any name – it basically deals with shutting down applications that are not required for any organization. Everyone has their own way to deal with applications which have been inherited by IT groups from other groups or organizations (that might have merged). Obviously, I am not talking of the mission-critical apps in the organization – these apps are more that are being used by a minor group of employees.

Most of the time, it is very difficult to understand who use these applications and why. The organization might find it difficult to take decisions on whether to continue these applications or close them. It is mostly very optimal (and easy) to shut down such an application than budget any support.

What is the best strategy to deal with these applications? There are quite a few white-papers around on how to deal with them. I will not try to suggest any complicated steps to use here – more a common-sense approach that I feel will give everyone some points of discussion.

  • First, the Support levels of the application have to be defined. Ensure that Remedy or any other ticketing application takes care of the event-logging. Availability of Support team can be office-hours to start with (9AM to 5PM).
  • Trend analysis of the tickets logged against the application will show the fragility of the application and the specific need of support teams
  • If there is no clear pattern in the trend, one can go to the extent of shutting down the application then!
  • Such a drastic step will not result in a similar reaction from the business users, if this application is really not mission-critical.
  • If no tickets are logged after the application shut-down , it means that there might be other work-arounds that help the users to do what they wanted to achieve with ‘this’ application.
  • If there are tickets raised by users, it means that the application is being used at specific times by different groups. This application can then make do with a revised set of support hours (unlike the regular support).
This approach will take care of quite a sizable number of the non-critical applications, if not 80%. This will save time as well as efforts of people can be focused on other apps that are required by the organization.
What do you think of this approach? Do you think it will work? Or will it provide more head-ache to the Senior Managers of IT groups?

One Response to “Retiring Applications in any organization”

  1. Raghavendra Says:

    Approach is quite do-able. However, would like to suggest that the a subset of the above said activities to be identified and repeated at regular interval of time depending on the complexity of the structure.

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