Tidying up the applications portfolio in a systematic, decisive way to make room for innovation, agility, and the next generation of powerful application services

Time to find the jewels to upcycle and the rocks to grind. Battling the sprawl of applications will significantly boost the innovative power of a Technology Business. However, getting rid of old, inflexible, and costly applications requires the mindset and methods of a specialized “tidying up” guru. First, it’s a matter of commitment; a full dedication to decluttering, but also to chasing the measurable benefits of a lightweight, liberated applications portfolio. The right tools will help as well, both to identify the pieces to modernize or be rid of, and to facilitate a simple step-by-step migration. What’s left is that Zen-like feeling of an applications portfolio that truly sparks joy.

Thilo Hermann Expert in Residence


  • Existing applications portfolios often commit large amounts of budget, resources, and capabilities, contrary to business value. Instead, use this budget to serve business agility and provide value.
  • Few organizations master the art of systematic application rationalization. Many IT experts know how to build new systems, few know how to decommission them.
  • There needs to be an end-to-end approach of replacing (or retiring) applications, including: - Getting support from top management to make unpopular and partly risky decisions. - Seeking agreement from stakeholders on the need for application rationalization. - Defining a new platform with a corresponding migration strategy. - Understanding the metrics and migration scenarios, using tools such as eAPM. - Leveraging the existing treasury of data as part of the modernization: retire the applications, but not the data! - Consolidating – where possible – to shrink the applications landscape with a strong focus on business need.
  • The Capgemini Research Institute reports that 58% of the insurance sector’s digital masters have already migrated their legacy IT systems to cloud-based applications, compared to an average of 35% in non-financial services organizations.


  • An automotive manufacturer in Germany replatformed its application portfolio, resulting in a reduced time to market, through bi-weekly deployments. Moving the new platform to open source reduced the license and infrastructure costs by more than €1 million per year.
  • An OEM within the automotive industry in Germany is using BlueAge to migrate an existing mainframe application based on PL/I to Java. As part of the migration, the application itself is rearchitected, with new APIs introduced.
  • The Integrate Justice Architecture Board implemented a common infrastructure, migrating its legacy systems into service oriented architecture. By modernizing the entire eJustice suite, stakeholders improved access to criminal justice information, creating uninterrupted and streamlined communication among agencies.
  • GE Healthcare’s, “GE Infrastructure Exchange” is a remotely managed OpenStack private cloud, which enabled GE to move 530 legacy apps to the cloud in under two years, delivering a 49% footprint reduction and annual savings of over €30 million.
  • A leading life sciences company decided to consolidate and migrate its entire application portfolio. Using the eAPM tool to drive key decision making, it considered the decommissioning of more than one thousand applications.


  • Unification across the enterprise, enabling new business functionality and models.
  • Lower cost of software development and maintenance combined with higher software quality and reduced time to market.
  • Faster development and change cycles due to the slimming down and reduction in complexity of the entire application portfolio.
  • Reduce technical “debt” of outdated or over-customized technology, architecture, and applications.
  • Simpler operation, and faster error identification and root cause analysis due to reduced overall complexity.
  • Space for innovation, both in terms of budget and available skills.


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