Futurestate IT Application Portfolio Management Survey Reveals Significant Benefits Could be Attained Through Better Portfolio Rationalization.

Toronto, CANADA – October 29, 2012 - Futurestate IT, an innovative SaaS-based Application Rationalization and Portfolio Management solution provider, today released results of a new survey of IT professionals regarding their Application Portfolio Management practices.

Application portfolios have suffered from a lack of attention by many organizations since as far back as Y2K – the last major landmark IT change event for applications. This is due, in part, to tighter IT budgets and growing demand for new functionality. Furthermore, as organizations continue to add new applications, and application vendors continue to upgrade to keep in step with the newest operating systems, IT departments are faced with serious application sprawl and a growing backlog of out-of-date and often unsupported applications.

The expiration of XP in April 2014 and of Windows Server 2003 in July 2015, is a wake-up call for organizations to better manage application portfolios. A key strategy in application portfolio management is application rationalization. Rationalization involves ongoing analysis of a portfolio to identify unused, redundant and out of date applications that are candidates for elimination, consolidation or modernization. By keeping a lean and agile portfolio, organizations will be better able to adapt to changes in the IT environment.

In order to better understand how IT departments manage their portfolios, Futurestate IT conducted a survey onApplication Portfolio Rationalization. The objective of the study was to determine the state of application portfolios, current practices for rationalizing them and how IT professionals believe they should be managed. Key findings reveal that the majority of IT professionals believe their portfolios are in moderate to poor health and that significant benefits could be attained through better portfolio rationalization.

Application portfolios are out of date and bloated

A staggering 80% of respondents rate their application portfolios to be in moderate or poor health. This implies that they have large number of out-of-date, unsupported applications. Additionally, respondents recognize the need to reduce application redundancy in their portfolio with 36% stating they could reduce their portfolio by 11-20%, while 33% anticipate greater than a 20% reduction.

Current rationalization practices are costly and labor-intensive

For 57% of survey respondents, application rationalization is a manual task managed through complex Excel spreadsheets. An additional 19% of respondents outsource rationalization. Manual rationalization is extremely labor-intensive and costly. Additionally, data collected in a spreadsheet very quickly becomes stale and inaccurate as application and IT environment changes occur.

Organizations understand the importance of rationalization but fail to implement it as an operational practice

Currently an overwhelming 52% of respondents rationalize their applications on an ad hoc, infrequent basis with 21% conducting an annual review and 12% conducting a semi-annual review. However, 46% believe that rationalization should occur more frequently — at least every 6 months. Another 38% believe it should be completed at least once a year and only 2% think it should be done on an ad hoc basis.

There is a significant disconnect between what organizations are currently doing vs. what they think they should be doing. The reasons cited by respondents as hurdles to conducting rationalization include other pressing priorities followed by cost and time. This is not surprising given over 2 thirds of respondents believe that portfolio rationalization would take months or even a year to complete.

Ongoing Application Portfolio Management is critical to drive down costs and increase agility

Despite the perceived challenges, the benefit of rationalization to drive operational savings is clearly understood by the survey respondents with 88% agreeing that significant savings could be realized equally across support, licensing and maintenance.
Respondents are also keenly aware of the impact of not performing application rationalization. While escalating operational costs is identified as the top consequence, the inability to implement new technology, such as Windows 7/8 for example, followed as a close second. Organizations are also concerned about downtime and failure to meet corporate application compliance policies.

About Futurestate IT

Futurestate IT offers AppRx, the leading SaaS-based Application Rationalization solution for enterprises worldwide to reduce application management cost and mitigate overall portfolio risk.

Available via the web, AppRx provides automated rationalization of an organization’s portfolio and identifies applications that should be retired, consolidated or modernized in order to eliminate redundancy and improve portfolio health.

For organizations moving to Windows 7, AppRx can dramatically reduce the number of applications in the portfolio; driving down overall migration cost, effort and timelines. AppRx also enables organizations to monitor their portfolio on an ongoing basis to continuously rationalize applications and reduce operational cost and risk.

As a SaaS-based solution, customers can be up and running in minutes and do not require any hardware or software installation, maintenance or support.

Futurestate IT is a Microsoft partner. For more information, visit http://www.futurestateit.com.
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