Application Portfolio Management

by Maya G

Application portfolio management (APM) is the process of managing and optimizing a company's application assets to maximize business value. It involves identifying, assessing, and prioritizing applications so that they can be managed as a single portfolio. APM encompasses the breadth of the organization's applications, from their inception through retirement. As such, it requires coordination across multiple groups within an enterprise: IT operations teams who manage on-premises software; application development teams that create new apps; product managers who define how those apps should work; and business leaders responsible for strategic decisions about where to invest in innovation.

It also means making decisions about which applications are no longer needed or appropriate for use by the company. The goal of this process is to ensure that there are only those necessary applications in place at any given time, as well as balancing cost with need so that unnecessary expenditure does not occur.

APM can be used to track an organization’s current state as well as its desired future state.

What is the application portfolio management process?

Application portfolio management is a process of evaluating applications and technologies in order to increase the value they deliver. This process can be done for an organization, department or individual. It involves three phases: evaluation, decision making and implementation. The goal is to find the best solution that delivers on business needs with a cost-effective strategy that will keep up with future business needs. 

Applications are evaluated based on their ability to meet strategic goals such as customer experience, increasing revenue or decreasing costs; how well it aligns with current technology standards; ease of integration; security risks; and vendor stability (i.e., if there's any risk the company will stop supporting it). The decision phase includes determining which application(s) should be eliminated, reduced, or enhanced, as well as the best way to deploy and manage them. Implementation includes putting into place all of the processes and needed for successful management of the application portfolio.

1.Compile a list of applications from every department :

The process of portfolio management is often a difficult one because it requires different departments to come together to make decisions that affect the entire company. The first step in this process is to compile a list of applications from every department in your company, which will help you understand what each individual department has invested in and how they are using their software. This will also help you understand how your company can benefit from a portfolio management solution.

Once you have this list, it is important to assess each application and determine its value to the company. This process can be difficult because different applications offer different benefits.

2.Identify the application owners :

The first step of the portfolio management process is identifying who will be involved in the process. This can be a daunting task, as there are many stakeholders that need to be identified. There are generally Two main groups of people involved:

(i) Product Owners - The Product Owner group includes those who have ownership over some aspect of the product and want to maintain responsibility for it throughout its lifecycle. For example, Marketing might own a campaign and want to keep it alive through each phase until completion; or Development might own an application that they would like to extend with additional features during its lifecycle.

(ii)Portfolio Managers - The second group is made up of those responsible for managing portfolios across multiple business units, such as the C-suite or Directors. They are looking to make decisions that will have the biggest impact on their organization as a whole, not just individual products or projects.

3.Identify the application’s lifecycle :

The lifecycle of a portfolio in the management process typically begins with the identification phase, where we identify and describe our goals for the portfolio. This is followed by the development phase, which consists of establishing an investment strategy for achieving these goals. 

The monitoring and evaluation phases are used to determine how well we’ve achieved those goals, and what adjustments need to be made.
Finally, when adjustments have been made or when it becomes necessary to change objectives (a common occurrence in today’s volatile economic climate), we enter into a new cycle that starts with identification again."

4.Identify and understand how applications are used :

There are many processes involved in portfolio management. One is identifying and understanding how applications are used by the organization's different functions. 

Applications can be classified as either tactical or strategic, depending on their importance to the business. Tactical applications provide short-term benefits for quick projects that have a clear end date, while strategic applications provide long-term benefits that create competitive advantages.

Tactical applications often support short-term projects and programs. However, tactical applications that become part of the standard business process may become strategic over time because they offer a competitive advantage to your organization or meet user needs so well that users want them implemented across all similar functions within the company.

A simple APM maturity model

The APM maturity model is a framework to help you understand how well your application performs and how it can be improved. Stages of the maturity model are: 

(i) Initial stage: In this stage, we don't have any metrics for our application, and we need to measure them manually. We also don't know what kind of data should be collected, so the first step will be to set up some basic monitoring tools that provide key performance indicators (KPIs). This is where we start gaining insights into the quality of our application's performance as well as its stability. 

(ii) Basic stage: Once we've gathered KPIs from the initial phase, we can move on to evaluating these KPIs and start looking for trends. This will help us to identify any problems with our application and start working on solutions. 

At this stage, we should also begin tracking business metrics (such as revenue or customer satisfaction) to get a better understanding of how the performance of our application affects our bottom line. 

APM Level

The five levels of IT alert management maturity are based on the following KPIs:
-KPIs (Key performance indicators) - Defining what you measure and how often
-KPMS (Key performance metrics systems) - Data collection, storage, and analysis
-APMs (Alert process managers) - Alert prioritization, response times, escalation policies

1.Application portfolio management is an emerging practice that has been recognized The baseline level is "Basic KPI." It's simply about measuring your data.
2.The next level is "Advanced KPI," which includes basic KPMS systems. This one typically involves some kind of automated tool for data collection and reporting.
3.At the third level is "Advanced APM" where there is a more sophisticated system with an integrated workflow.
4.The fourth level, "Progressive APM," is where you have a workflow that includes business rules.
5.At the final stage is "Insightful APM." This KPI system has predictive analytics built into it so there's even more sophistication in how alerts are handled across teams and processes over time.

6 Benefits of Application Portfolio Management

Application portfolio management is an emerging practice that has been recognized as a critical component of IT governance.
aims to highlight the benefits of application portfolio management and how it can help your organization make more informed decisions about what applications need to be used, upgraded, or retired.

1) Application Portfolio Management helps us know which applications are no longer needed and should be removed from our system.
2) It also ensures we're using the most up-to-date versions of software with security updates and patches applied, ensuring they'll run smoothly without causing issues for other parts of our environment.
3) And finally, APM allows organizations to identify gaps in their current IT infrastructure so they can plan future investments effectively.
4) Reduced risk - An optimized application environment reduces the risk of failure caused by poorly written code or incompatibility with other systems because only relevant features
5) Improved quality assurance by eliminating redundant testing procedures and identifying potential flaws in application development before they cause problems with employees or customers
6) Better security for all applications due to an improved ability to track changes and identify vulnerabilities in code, which may be present across different applications, platforms, or operating systems



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