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Application Portfolio

Definition

An Application Portfolio refers to a collection of software applications and software-based services that are used in an organization to achieve its business objectives. It serves as a repository that provides an overview of an organization’s software applications and their interactions. This portfolio is used in strategic decision making on software infrastructure, IT budgeting, risk management, and efficiency analysis.

Phonetic

The phonetic pronunciation of “Application Portfolio” is /ˌæplɪˈkeɪʃn pɔrˈtoʊlioʊ/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Optimization: Application Portfolio Management (APM) can enhance your business workflow by optimizing your application portfolio. It enables the organization to better understand their app inventory, thereby saving costs, improving efficiency, and reducing complexity.
  2. Risk Management: APM provides a clear overview of all existing applications, their health, and their interdepencies. This helps in mitigating risks, foreseeing potential issues, and ensures business continuity.
  3. Strategic Decision Making: Real-time analytics provided by APM aids in strategic decision making. It helps in identifying applications that can be retired, upgraded, or need investment, based on their performance and business contribution. Thus, it guides IT budget and forecast.

Importance

Application Portfolio is a significant technology term as it refers to an organization’s collection of software applications and software-based services, which it uses to achieve its business objectives. The importance of managing this portfolio lies in its capacity to provide an overview of the functionality, costs, and benefits of each application. This portfolio system helps to identify redundancies, gaps, and areas for optimization. By understanding their Application Portfolio, organizations can make more informed decisions about software investments and enhancements, leading to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved enterprise agility. It is an essential tool for IT strategy and business alignment.

Explanation

An application portfolio is a strategic tool that enterprises employ to catalog and manage their organization’s software applications and software-based services. The purpose of an application portfolio is to depict a snapshot of all the software applications and services within an enterprise and provide information about each, including the value, cost, risk, and how frequently each is used. This information aids in evaluating the state of the software applications, which can help review the suitability of maintaining them.Application portfolio management is thus critical for organizations as it helps in managing costs and improving software investments. It enables decision-makers to identify obsolete or redundant applications and enables resource allocation to areas where it’s needed the most. In essence, this portfolio helps organizations remain in line with their strategic goals and maintain a technological edge in their field by allowing them to easily review, update, and replace their software as necessary. This thereby enables the organization to respond more adeptly to evolving technology trends and the arising business needs.

Examples

1. Banking Systems: Banks use a diverse range of software applications for different tasks like customer relationship management, online banking, transaction processing, loan management, etc. All these applications make up their application portfolio. They need to manage, update, or retire these applications based on business requirements, user needs, changes in technology, or regulatory environment.2. Health Care Systems: Hospitals or healthcare systems have an application portfolio that includes electronic health record systems, scheduling systems, billing software, telemedicine applications, lab information systems, and more. They have to manage this portfolio to ensure responsiveness, integration, security, and compliance with health care laws and regulations.3. Educational Institutions: Schools, colleges, and universities also manage an extensive application portfolio that includes programs for student information systems, learning management systems, enrollment applications, email, and other communication tools, financial aid systems, and more. They continually assess these applications to ensure they meet the needs of teachers, students, and administrators while staying within budget and maintaining security.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Sure, here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Application Portfolio:Q1: What is an Application Portfolio?A1: An application portfolio is a collection of software applications and software-based services that an organization has implemented or is maintaining for the purpose of investment or operational decisions. It’s a key component of an organization’s overall IT system and serves a crucial role in enterprise strategy.Q2: What is the purpose of an Application Portfolio?A2: The primary purpose of an Application Portfolio is to help an organization gain a comprehensive understanding of software applications being used in its operations. It assists in assessing, balancing, and aligning software applications with the organization’s objectives and resources.Q3: How does an Application Portfolio benefit an organization?A3: It provides a holistic view of all the software applications, hence aiding in strategic decision-making. It can help identify outdated, redundant, and potentially risky apps. By consolidating and managing apps efficiently, organizations can reduce costs, minimize risks, and enhance productivity.Q4: What are the components of an Application Portfolio?A4: An application portfolio may include details about the software like its name, purpose, version, license details, maintenance status, cost, and its connection with other applications. It might also include data about the application’s relevance and alignment with the organization’s objectives.Q5: What is Application Portfolio Management (APM)?A5: Application Portfolio Management (APM) is a framework for managing and optimizing an organization’s software applications and services. It involves continuous updating and revising of the applications in an application portfolio to ensure they meet current and future business requirements.Q6: How often should an Application Portfolio be updated?A6: The frequency of updating an Application Portfolio depends on the organization and the dynamic nature of their software applications. It should be updated regularly to accurately reflect the current state of the applications. Common triggers could be introduction of new apps, app retirement, updates, changing business needs, etc.Q7: What is application rationalization?A7: Application rationalization is the process of assessing the software applications in an organization’s portfolio to determine which should be kept, updated, retired, or replaced. It’s a critical aspect of Application Portfolio Management aiming to create a lean and flexible application portfolio.Q8: What tools are used for Application Portfolio Management?A8: There are numerous APM tools available that offer functionalities like tracking, reporting, visualization etc. Some reputed tools are LeanIX, Alfabet, Planview, ServiceNow APM, etc. Choosing a tool depends on the specific requirements and scale of operations of an organization.

Related Technology Terms

  • Application Inventory
  • Application Rationalization
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • IT Portfolio Management
  • Application Lifecycle Management

Sources for More Information

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