Working closely with large organisations across the sectors, we often see IT portfolios that are very diverse, with a lot of duplicated systems that span different markets and channels. It’s clear that there’s a need for businesses to optimise their IT portfolio if they want to benefit from efficiency gains. Along with this, the technology selection process is often not governed properly, resulting in large and uncontrolled application portfolios. Integration is frequently implemented on a case-by-case basis, with direct system-to-system interfaces that add complexity and inefficiency to the infrastructure.
Architecture practitioners and IT and business leaders, take note: it could be time for you to take a more strategic and holistic approach if you want to reap the rewards of infrastructure efficiency.
Infrastructure efficiency: the easy way
Before beginning any IT portfolio optimisation work, practitioners need to make sure that any new IT package is introduced through a well-governed framework.
Here are the key elements of a well-governed process for delivering IT systems:
- Establish your process: start with business capabilities analysis – in other words determining how an outcome can be achieved using existing technologies and processes
- Map the related capabilities to IT capabilities, and then to IT systems: this will ensure that a new IT system is added to the portfolio only if there is no existing single place that can adequately do the task.
It will also increase re-use of IT capabilities and will allow you to remove duplicated systems.
It’s important to implement multi-channel reuse with a single back-end product stack, and reduce the number of interfaces you have across different channels. The core functionality should be consumed via a set of exposed APIs (application programming interface). This is to encourage easy re-use and enable collaboration with partner organisations.
The end result will be an optimised and well-structured application portfolio that is reusable across the enterprise as well as different channels: an infrastructure that is used efficiently and cost-effectively.
What's your Infrastructure roadmap?
In a large organisation, it is important to have a global view of all the transformation programmes and ongoing projects. Only then can you make good decisions based on tactical and strategic roadmaps.
You will also move away from reactive IT implementation, which often leaves businesses trying to dry the floor while water is still pouring from the roof!
by Oliver Neuberger, Associate Partner, Glue Reply
What do you think about Oliver's article? How did you optimise your IT infrastructure? Let us know in the comments below.