Enterprise IT departments evolve over a period of time with the sole objective of supporting the business initiatives, until a time when we realise that the overhead cost of running an operation far exceeds the benefits that it brings in. A critical review of IT operations is essential at every step as an organisation grows in size and complexity. An important aspect of such evaluation is to scrutinize any redundancy in application functions.
You know that it is not productive to have multiple apps on your phone, especially when you pay a monthly subscription fee for these apps while you hardly ever use them. Now consider the exact same scenario for an enterprise environment – only now you have various other heads where you incur high costs – like resources in hardware and personnel, license and software maintenance costs.
The problem looks quite simplistic and raises the question- how come highly organised IT departments get into such a situation. In our experience in working on such initiatives, there appears to be a multitude of factors play an important role, like rapidly growing organisation where the business demands change quickly, legacy platforms that are not easy to upgrade, decentralised nature of the organisation where similar business functions are implemented in different ways and short-term benefit over long term planned execution.
The business must continue to evolve rapidly in response to the market conditions and IT operations must support it at every step of the way. So how do we achieve efficiency within IT operations and make sure that we are not carrying cost of redundant applications which would eventually drain the IT budget for wrong reasons.
Application consolidation initiative must be planned not only to save costs but also from the point of view of future development of the enterprise IT services. Initial planning and long term vision are critical to success of such projects where both IT and business must work together to create the desired vision of the future of IT operations. Data belonging to various applications must be separately analysed and then transformed to work in a consolidated manner. Users must be made aware of such changes and a change management process is needed to bring users onboard the new systems without any reluctance.