An Application Portfolio refers to the organisation’s collection of software applications and software-based services, which it uses to achieve their goals and objectives. These could be items that people use on their laptops (installed locally), from the services provided by the organisation (on-premises) or via SaaS services (Cloud) – or even a mixture.
Application Portfolio Management (APM), as the name suggests, is the process to manage these. The key for this process is optimising inventories of software applications to achieve specific business objectives.
As organisations grow, IT teams, business departments or even employees buy apps to solve problems they have. This can quite often be without holistic oversight or strategy – They have an issue to solve. It could be that the existing processes are bypassed as either due to perception of long lead times or other restrictions that may prevent those teams from doing what they need.
This without any or at least some thought to the may have implications for the organisation, some obvious examples being amplification of costs, uncontrolled expenditure or increased / unexpected support requirements that have not been catered for.
Apps can “pile up” that are difficult and sometimes impossible to integrate with existing apps or other systems, duplicating effort between teams. Some apps could be purchased multiple times to complete the same tasks, different apps purchased for the same result or even bought and never used. It’s an extension of shadow IT where uncontrolled app can place pressures on other aspects of the organisation that may not be realised until the app and processes are imbedded with that area.
There is a methodical approach to avoid situations like this however this approach could cover hundreds of apps. Many, specifically teams responsible for IT, may not have this as a priority.
Additionally, if the app portfolio is not kept up to date it can leave you open to potential security breaches – worst cases being malware, ransomware and data exfiltration. You could be spending unnecessary volumes of money on apps that do not add value to the business and reduce productivity instead of, on services that could add value.
Application Portfolio Optimisation (APO) is a framework for managing an organisations technology inventory to optimise their value, reduce risk, improve operational efficiency and directing investment from maintenance to innovation.
How can Nine23 help?
Security teams can often have a myriad of partners, services, and tools to manage, integrate and utilise as part of their role.
Our team specialises in helping map these capabilities and identify potential areas of duplication and any key gaps so that tooling can be rationalised, reducing the Total Cost of Ownership for the security team whilst driving capability through better use of a rationalised, integrated and optimised service and application portfolio in line with your team’s processes and your business objectives.