The App Gap and Shadow IT

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What is the App Gap, beyond a fun expression?  Today’s post looks at the issue of the APP GAP, an issue we touched on previously.

We are well into the App Revolution, with all types of organizations effectively using apps to better engage customers, reaching them where they are, providing timely and relevant information, driving awareness and loyalty.  Apps are also impacting how employees work, enabling “work anywhere”, enhancing productivity, and promoting connectedness.  Yet it is estimated that today’s IT organizations are only able to meet about 25% of their businesses’ demand for apps – we call this the App Gap:

IT’s inability to deliver on business demand, the lack of dependency on IT infrastructure afforded by the cloud, and the ease with which apps can be procured outside traditional IT governance and approval processes has driven a huge increase in Shadow IT.   For decades IT has raged against shadow IT, desperately trying to assert (or reassert) control over their organization’s entire IT landscape; today it would appear that the battle is lost.  How can IT respond?  Many CIOs simply turn a blind eye to shadow IT, considering it beyond their control, oversight, or influence.  We don’t see this an acceptable strategy as it overlooks critical issues of data security, standards, and risks.  Other CIOs attempt to clamp down on and eliminate Shadow IT, but their own function’s inability to meet business demand makes this a risky strategy that can result in further stakeholder dissatisfaction.

At QuePro, we prefer an approach that accepts the reality of today’s “dispersed IT”, where some traditional IT decisions are made elsewhere in the organization, while taking advantage of CIO value-added competencies in security, configuration management, compliance and regulatory issues, and supplier selection.  Our approach is to bring “shadow IT” out of the shadows, make it transparent, and provide services that support it. Once brought to light, IT can adapt to the new reality by managing the most critical and complex enterprise solutions, while advising, guiding, and overseeing business IT initiatives.

How do we bring Shadow IT out of the shadows?  As with most decisions an organization makes, data is key and it is precisely information regarding the entire IT landscape that is lacking in most organizations.We recommend to start the process by building an applications roadmap or database to discover duplicated technology, security risks, inefficiencies, and lack of alignment to business strategies.  The roadmap should include, at minimum:

  • Financial View -Total Cost of Ownership, Infrastructure
  • Technology View – Technical Viability, Platform, Application Dependencies, OS / DB Versions
  • Business View – Alignment with Strategy, Business Value
  • Operational View – Maintainability, Problem Tickets, Host Mapping

Many organizations will use spreadsheets, Sharepoints, and other ad hoc tools to build the applications roadmap, others will use dedicated Application Portfolio Management tools that offer varying levels of functionality.  For most organizations however, the roadmap is a one-time static exercise, at best performed on a periodic basis,  annually or semi-annually.

Cloudbyz ITPM is a new kind of tool.  ITPM encompasses the entire applications landscape, with exclusively integrated Project Portfolio (plan), Application Lifecycle (build), and Application Portfolio Management (run and change) capabilities, providing a real-time, 360° view of the organization’s entire applications portfolio.  Built on the Salesforce1 platform and cloud hosted with unique collaboration and “work anywhere” features, ITPM enables organizations to map their entire applications landscape, both core IT as well as “shadow IT”.

Our APM tooling meets and exceeds every organization’s demands, featuring:

Application Portfolio Modeling – Ability to capture structured/organized information about your current enterprise and applications. Enable planning decisions about your current application portfolio: Inventory, Support Costs, Technologies/Architecture, App-to-App Dependencies, App-to-Data and Business Process Dependencies.

Application Portfolio Evaluation – Minimizes portfolio definition effort by providing standard metrics for evaluating applications, including criteria such as: Business Criticality, Business & Technical Fit, Market Differentiation, Organizational Value & Financial Considerations.

Application Portfolio Analysis – Ability to simplify analysis with actionable views across various perspectives of the application portfolio, including: Business Process, Business Value, Cloud Suitability, Business Benefit vs. Cost & Risk Exposure.

Application Registration – Simple UI interface and data import functionality enable you to inventory your applications and collect relevant information about each, including any affected business processes.

Standard Application Attributes – Ability to track application details such as financials, resources, business processes, charge-backs, business and technology factors. Ability to capture infrastructure attributes and costs.

Application Portfolio Reports -Drives better decisions by providing you with application portfolio scores in a set of APM-specific reports.

Application Lifecycle Strategies -Ability to evaluate applications and define roadmap to modernization, retirement and sourcing strategies.

Integrated with PPM and ALM

Unique in the APM tooling market, ITPM is exclusively integrated with Project Portfolio Management and Application Lifecycle Management, functionality that enables complete integration of the entire applications lifecycle, from planning and building though managing the applications portfolio on a continuous basis and in real time.

With implementation of proper tooling and building a robust data set, organizations can address shadow IT concerns, not by controlling every aspect of IT in the organization, but with appropriate insight IT can become a trusted adviser, a true business partner offering value to the business of the organization.

QuePro Advisors can introduce your organization to the power of Cloudbyz ITPM. Contact us for additional information or to arrange a demo info@queproadvisors.com and check out Our Thinking.

This was a guest article written by Tim Janisch.

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