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CIOs urged to adopt portfolio management tools

Micro Focus is extending its call for IT managers to implement application portfolio management tools
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Written by Adrian Bridgwater on

Enterprise software management vendor Micro Focus has launched a new version of its Enterprise View product, 5.6, that is intended to help with application portfolio management and other areas.

Announced on Wednesday, Micro Focus claims the tool can give a consolidated "portfolio" view of business and technical intelligence across an organisation, and can help chief information officers make more informed IT management decisions.

According to Micro Focus, application portfolio management (APM) can help identify and free up IT resources in areas where they are scarce. The company also says it can help reduce the risks of strategic IT initiatives such as rationalisation, modernisation, off-shoring and outsourcing during the planning phase.

"The complications we have seen in the industry with APM up until now — and probably the reason it is still at such an early stage in its development — are down to the fact that companies have needed to find a business case to apply it to," said Jeremy Spencer, product solutions director at Micro Focus. "A good example of APM implementation is with outsourcing, where we need to assess how many million lines of code are within an application before we start to manage it and take it outside the business. It can also then provide cost metrics, so an IT manager knows whether it is a profitable and viable move in the first place."

Starting with a period of data mining to establish and define current assets, APM tools such as Enterprise View 5.6 produce a dashboard of an organisation's entire IT application portfolio to outline where value to the business is coming from. Technical analysis tools then drill down into application logic to perform source code "impact analysis" so changes to the installed software base can be accurately gauged before they are executed.

"Organisations are embracing APM because it aligns application strategies to business strategies and increases maintenance productivity," said Forrester Research principal analyst Phil Murphy. "The transparency provided by APM is bringing application portfolios out of their dark ages; as transparency increases, invisible IT wanes due to management scrutiny."

Chief information officers facing planning and delivery of departmental or company-wide IT change programmes need detailed and up-to-date information about the disparate systems they are running. Project portfolio management tools aim to ease this process by providing application metrics to help direct the decision-making process.

"Pressure is being placed on CIOs to effectively manage new and existing IT investments, align IT goals with the business's strategic objectives, and demonstrate that IT can directly benefit the organisation's growth and profitability," said Michael Gentle, a consultant for Compuware.

"This is where IT portfolio management comes in, as it enables IT departments to track how and where resources are utilised across the organisation, determine which applications the business utilises, and help measure the true cost of IT initiatives and associated risks," added Gentle.

Enterprise View 5.6 technical datasheets are available on the Micro Focus APM micro site along with information on supported environments.

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