Spring Cleaning Your Application Portfolio

Spring Cleaning Your Application Portfolio


Signifying warmer weather and new beginnings, Spring is a hopeful time, a chance to start fresh. While this inspires most to spring clean their home, what other areas of clutter that could use a little freshening up? In the healthcare world, this is the time to take a look at your application portfolio.

After years of big-bang, out of the box implementation, merger and acquisition, best of breed IT strategies, and antiquated & narrow legacy applications, many hospital’s IT operations are now dealing with a complex portfolio of disconnected applications, on incompatible platforms, often with overlapping functionality. Most large health systems have anywhere from 250 to 5,000 IT applications installed across the enterprise. Depending on the size of the organization, the total cost of ownership (TCO) can range between $5 million and $500 million per year. This frequently adds an incremental annual IT operating spend of 40%-60%, on top of licensing spend.

The complexity of the application landscape is becoming a major challenge. While they are often deployed for the right reasons, keeping unused or underutilized apps on network consumes resources. It takes up a large portion of the budget, leaving little room for innovation. Rationalizing your application portfolio can help streamline your organization to work more efficiently, reduce complexity, and lower your TCO.

How? Here are our Top Tips for Spring Cleaning your Application Portfolio:

1. Inventory:  Most organizations have a vast number of applications managed by IT. Taking an inventory of all your current applications and underlying technology in use can help find rogue applications that have been purchased or created by separate business units and are now essential to their functioning.

2. Automate: While taking inventory is often the most time consuming step, there are application management tools available that can quickly record software and technologies in use. They provide a comprehensive inventory and status of applications and related resources in a single, complete solution.

Susan Carman Quote

3. Map: Identify redundancy and gaps in your applications by “mapping” them to either business capabilities or processes within the business architecture. This allows for a better understanding of the business capabilities, processes, and functions required for success and what IT resources enable them.

4. Analyze: Gain visibility into your applications: who’s using them, how they’re being used and what resources they consume. Look at their strategic value, functional fit, risk, and TCO. This can help you recommend actions to take for each application and either: retire, modernize, eliminate redundancies, standardize on a common platform, or consolidate.

5. Consult: Get a professional opinion. Consultants will work closely with you to develop and optimize an application portfolio management strategy fit for your organization. Many groups have created tools that complement and streamline the process, and ensure success.

Tim Schoener Quote

6. Develop: Most organizations do not have the budget and resources to rationalize all applications at once, even if such drastic measures are desired. Creating a strategic roadmap that reflects a phased-rollout approach is more practical approach. It introduces the least amount of risk and impact of change on the business.

7. Implement: A clear portfolio governance strategy is key for accurately prioritizing IT demand and keeping IT aligned with business needs. Keeping an application portfolio optimized requires a vital ongoing governance process.

View our Application Management & Support Best Practices Webcast

With the transition from volume to value looming, providers need information systems that provide a more complete picture of their patient populations and enable them to understand new cost structures. Health systems must pursue workflow improvements to drive down operational costs as well as sophisticated data analytics to reduce the cost of care and improve quality. By better understanding and optimizing your portfolio of applications, your organization can modernize legacy systems, eliminate redundancies, and reduce maintenance costs.

How can Galen help? Our Operation Support ranges from application support structuring, including legacy systems support and maintenance; to system and application upgrades, including project management, needs analysis, staffing and support; to training programs and initiatives. Galen has experience assessing these needs and will assist you in determining your current position relative to success criteria.

Operations Support

View our complete services here, or contact us below to spring into Q2 with a clean, consolidated application portfolio:

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