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Technology Updated: 22 Aug 2017

Rationalizing IT applications is a step toward digital transformation

More than 1,000 CIOs and top-level IT decision-makers have confirmed it through the Application Landscape Report 2014 by Capgemini: the complex map of applications that shape company IT departments is becoming a barrier to successfully carry out digital transformation.

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The set of applications that must be managed by IT departments in companies is increasingly complex and leads to increased maintenance that is preventing the human capital and resources from focusing on thedigital transformation of companies. Greater rationalization of the use of these tools and hence their maintenance would focus resources on innovation and core business aspects.

According to the study conducted by Capgemini, in the past three years, CIOs consider their organizations manage more applications than their business requires; so, if 34% of respondents made ??this statement previously, today nearly half, 48%, think this way, compared with 37% of the managers who still think that they are all critical.

If the reasons as to why these executives believe that most applications are not necessary are investigated, we find that 73% of them believe that at least one fifth of the applications perform similar functionality, while 57% believe that at least one-fifth should also be retired or replaced. In Spain, in particular, 50% of respondents believe that their business does indeed have more applications than necessary.

A problem for the business

At first glance, these statements might lead us to think that the IT department is the one with the problem and which bears the responsibility to organize and consolidate a strategy; however, this fact has become a real business problem for organizations.

Moreover, 60% of technology managers believe that the value of their departments is in implementing new technologies; and 56% has implemented cloud solutions, while 54% has already approached mobility, 41%, social media and 34%, Big Data. The problem comes when, instead of spending time and resources on these new trends, they have to devote it to maintaining unnecessary applications, so the IT department is unable to boost innovation and therefore improve the business.

In this context, 76% of respondents felt that it is necessary to rationalize the application set to achieve their business objectives. "In a world in which all areas of an organization are beginning to position themselves in the digital transformation (and depend on the rapid deployment of mobile solutions, social media, Big Data and Cloud computing to obtain a competitive advantage) a map of consolidated applications becomes a strategic imperative for the entire company." says Ron Tolido, CTO of Application Services for Continental Europe at Capgemini.

The Western disadvantage

Another of the conclusions reached by the study prepared by Capgemini is that Western companies are at an absolute disadvantage compared to enterprises in emerging economies, because they are weighed down with obsolete legacy applications from the old IT ecosystem. New companies are directly adopting new paradigms, which is a competitive advantage.

For example, Finland and Norway reported below-average levels in alignment between business and IT with 64 and 69%, respectively, while countries like Brazil, China and India reveal that their IT systems are properly implementing the business logic. A fact that may put them at the forefront of the digital transformation and win this whole race from the West.

According to the consultant, in an ideal world, an organization's applications map should accurately reflect its objectives, however, as we have seen, there is a significant gap between requirements and what applications can achieve. The solution is to establish strategic planning that can close this gap and focuses on five tips: standardize before innovating, consider more radical rationalization scenarios, leverage the next generation of solutions, embed innovation in the application lifecycle and use facts and metrics to improve understanding among the key players in business and IT.