Application Portfolio Management for IT Today

Application portfolio management (APM) drives digital acceleration at Intel.

We offer this paper as a blueprint and inspiration for others to follow. Best-in-class organizations continuously strive to innovate and improve IT assets. This transformation is critical for business organizations to perform operations without disruption. IT transformation also enhances business units’ ability to meet objectives through deeper IT asset insights and improved total cost of ownership, all while running leaner and more efficiently. APM is an information system that stores and manages a wide range of IT assets throughout their lifecycles. APM provides insights into several measurable data points that enable management to make data-driven conclusions, including:

  1. Architecture modernization and simplification.
  2. Technical debt reduction though IT asset rationalization.
  3. TCO management while weighing IT asset return on investment and business value.
  4. Recommendations on investments across strategic, innovative, and disruptive technical and business capabilities.
  5. Improving IT services and agility through insights into IT asset health and associated metrics.
  6. Providing insights into IT operations outsourcing, consolidation of services, visibility into security and compliance risks, and awareness of strategic value and importance.

For over 15 years, Intel has been using APM for comprehensive inventory, analysis, and evaluation of IT assets, and we are continuously evolving this solution. APM provides deep, actionable insights into measurable data points to help stakeholders and management make data-driven strategic decisions that result in transformation and innovation to support business outcomes. APM is not simply an applications system of record; there is more to an application than its name. Each IT asset in our APM database typically links to over 50 associated attributes that are either entered in the system or sourced from other enterprise solutions. These attributes help with analysis on dependencies and the levels of interconnection between assets and their attributes. APM can elevate and accelerate the four stages of IT organizational evolution: Foundation, Transform, Innovate, and Best In Class. APM constantly provides visibility into the maturity levels of each capability. With an APM system fully stacked with all possible data, we have much faster, more thorough insights into where foundational pursuits may be wasteful or misfiring. Transformation can execute more quickly because IT knowledge is aligned across business units, which minimizes poor communication and project thrash, and all parties can see the impact of transformation on business metrics in less time. With so much visibility into IT assets and tuning their financial underpinnings, there will be more resources available for innovation and further ongoing improvement through APM-driven feedback loops. We have learned that optimizing data completeness and quality is extremely important to make the right decisions and win the trust of stakeholders. Therefore, data must be managed by subject matter experts who are well versed with APM and related IT assets. Through APM and EA governance, we are enabling these experts to take periodic, event-based actions to maintain data quality. Strategically, APM enables the framework that accelerates transformation and allows us to become and remain best in class.