Digitalization has imparted several benefits and new avenues for the growth of organizations. But just adopting technology is not enough. You must also scrutinize the changes that digitalization brings. Along with new digital technologies come new business processes. Due to the complex nature of existing applications in large organizations, enterprises find it difficult to adopt these new processes. Hence, enterprises must often initiate application consolidation exercises.
A robust application consolidation strategy must be built to accomplish the goal of a smooth transition from old to new digital technology. With application consolidation, you can streamline your resources, thus combining multiple applications into a cohesive IT environment. At the same time, you eliminate the complexity of managing multiple applications. Application consolidation does this by consolidating multiple applications, their functionality and/or instances. In spite of several benefits that consolidation offers, application consolidation projects have a high risk of failure. It is because many consolidation projects are poorly planned, costly, and time consuming. This results in waste of significant investments. Hence, an adequate planning and thorough analysis of existing application inventories must be conducted. This must be performed before initiating the consolidation project. It ensures that consolidation projects deliver maximum benefit. Furthermore, to ensure that your consolidation project gets successful, you can adopt the following best practices. These best practices are divided into three categories:
1. Best practices before consolidation
- Feasibility evaluation checks the feasibility of the various consolidation approaches that we can use.
- Consolidation governance defines the processes, roles, and responsibilities needed for consolidating various enterprise applications.
- Stakeholder communication includes conveying impact and schedule of the application consolidation to all concerned stakeholders.
2. Best practices during application consolidation
- Iterative approach includes consolidating in phases. Using big-bang approach in consolidation always carries a huge risk of failure.
- Back-end data consolidation considers and evaluates back-end data migration along with application consolidation. Ignoring this can lead data integrity and data duplicity issues.
- Parallel site maintenance process includes planning to maintain both the newly-created consolidated application and the original application.
3. Best practices after application consolidation
- Standard technology stack includes using standard components in the system post-application consolidation.
- Usage of open standards includes adopting open standards for the consolidated applications.
- Defining uniform processes includes establishing uniform processes for managing and enhancing the consolidated application. It defines SLAs and goals to track key metrics for the consolidated applications. It also constantly monitors the consolidated applications based on these metrics.
By adopting these practices in application consolidation processes, IT organizations can achieve extensive cost savings and improved application reliability. Application leaders wishing to reduce bloated application portfolios can turn to application consolidation to make optimum use of technology. Doing so will help you generate business value and save on IT costs.