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Seeing the Need for Application Rationalization Everywhere I Look

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Are you familiar with the frequency illusion? This is when something you've just experienced or started focusing on crops up constantly. For example, a few years ago, after purchasing a silver Honda CRV everywhere I went, there were CRVs, many of which were silver! I had never noticed that there were so many on the road. They were always there, but I didn't see them.

I've recently had this experience around the topic of Application Rationalization. I wrote an article about the value of performing an Application Rationalization process, and now it seems it is cropping up everywhere I go. As an Enterprise Architect for SAP, I work with various businesses daily. I've noticed that almost every conversation mentions the need to do some Application Rationalization. They aren't necessarily saying it that way, but that's how I hear it.

Our customers talk about the need to simplify their landscape, reduce complexity, and reduce how many times their data is replicated. Many of them mention how they got to where they are today. I can relate; after spending over 20 years in corporate IT, I know how application landscapes become complex. Reasons include mergers and acquisitions, decentralized IT decision-making, and speed-to-market considerations. 

I compare decluttering your house and performing an application rationalization process in my article. In the same way that it's always a good time to declutter your home, it's always a good time to focus on application rationalization. The specific inflection points that make rationalization a higher priority include when a new CIO or enterprise architecture leader joins the team, financial considerations, organizational changes like mergers and acquisitions, and significant contract renewals.

What has been your experience with Application Rationalization? Do you have any experience running this process, either good or bad, that you can share? Is it something your team is focused on now or plans to work on in the future?


Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

@ChandraKnabel yes this is the constant ask or inherent need for most of the SAP Premium Engagement customers who are in the process of driving company-wide transformation due to the various strategic priorities you cited above. I liked the mention of several frameworks to decide the next steps of application rationalization. Gartner's TIME method and the 6Rs framework. We use "Lifecycle" attributes such as Retire, Phase Out, Keep, Introduce, Investigate etc.. Great article on Application Rationalization and the analogies from our day to day life 

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
0 Kudos

Thanks for posting, Chandra. I am really interested in what companies are actually doing to evaluate what apps to retire and how to sustain their portfolio of apps in a meaningful way. 

Senior Enterprise Architect
SAP Canada