Download (direct link):
• Information risk: The information created by applications has potential quality and legal retention issues that might need to be taken into account in a risk profile.
Rolling these risks into an overall risk rating is still very much more art than science. In fact, most companies have not gone far down the path of profiling the risk of an application. However, risk awareness at executive levels and regulatory issues will force many organizations to develop this aspect of their application portfolios.
Applying the Attributes
Analyzing the impact of moving to the next version of an application is an example of where a portfolio of existing applications is invaluable. The general attributes help anyone new to the environment quickly understand what the application does and who the key contacts are. The key business process/function-enabled attributes quickly identify which business processes, information types, and related applications will potentially be affected. The user information attributes identify which user groups must be consulted and managed through upgrade issues, potentially identifying training requirements or refining rollout timetables.
Technical condition attributes highlight the need for the new version of the application to conform to architectural principles and standards as well as specify operational shortcomings, which should ideally be addressed by the upgrade. Cost attributes are often invaluable in identifying the complete costs of a version upgrade, including changes in licensing and maintenance levels, as well as underlying component costs and operational impacts. Risk profile attributes effectively summarize many of the overall challenges associated with an upgrade by pulling together risks as disparate as regulatory compliance and project execution. Exhibit 4.23 shows an example of bringing these attributes together for a large customer service application.
Process assessment analysis demonstrates how well a particular application enables the types of processes that a business needs to go forward. The more an application is a barrier to driving the right business process changes, the more brittleness becomes an issue and should drive the retirement/decommissioning/major upgrade of the application.
Variations across business areas or geographies can lead to business process-level discussions addressing an interesting point: Should the process be consistent or are there reasons for local variations? This should lead to a pretty clear take on whether there should be multiple versions of a particular application.
Documenting and Balancing the Application Portfolio
The complexity of gathering, organizing, and analyzing the application portfolio will depend on the number of applications in the environment, the number of
IT ASSET PORTFOLIO 167
EXHIBIT 4.23 SAMPLE ATTRIBUTES FOR APPLICATIONS
Name: Customer Service -Large Accounts
Description: This application supports the servicing of large accounts from initial request through resolution. IT coordinates the efforts of sales reps, call center agents, executives, and web self-service.
> Business Unit A Specific
> Operational Application
> Customer Facing
Business Owner: John Smith, VP, Large Accounts IT Owner : Jane Doe, Large Accounts App Leader
Key Business Processes Enabled
> Problem Management (large accounts)
> Service Request Management (large accounts)
> Service-Based Cross-Selling (large accounts)
Overall Business Value
> Improving brand perception and quality throu^ customer service
> Enabling cross-sell of additional products and services to address customer
> Controlling costs by automating service
> Call Center Agents
> Sales Representatives
> Development Environment
> Database Server
> Network Protocol Client Code
> Job Scheduling
> Problem Management
> Change Management
> System Monitoring
> Vendor/Contract Mcmt
Non-Supported APIs + MQ Series IBM DB2 IBM Mainframe IBM DASD TCP/IP (emulated) TN3270 Emulator, Web
Fully Automated Infrequent Issues Good Change Control Basic Monitoring Going off maintenance
Estimated Replacement Cost -$1,250,000 Recommended Actions:
> Meet with business executives to review future business process requirements
> Analyze feasibility of migrating users to an alternative existing application
> App Maintenance
> Depreciation (web project) Total
> Data Accuracy
> Data Consistency