Application rationalization: Streamlining your IT portfolio

IT leaders are increasingly launching application rationalization initiatives to cut operational costs and improve resiliency and agility. Here’s how to weed out the waste and reinvest.

Application rationalization: Streamlining your IT portfolio
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As one of her first tasks when she became a newly minted CIO last spring, Kristin Myers scrutinized her application portfolio and adopted somewhat of an “out with the old, in with the new” mantra.

For Myers, executive vice president, CIO, and dean for information technology at Mount Sinai Health System, it was “a great cost reduction exercise, because many of these legacy apps remain around and you continue to pay software maintenance and support,’’ she says. Many of the apps on platforms that aren’t upgraded can potentially become cybersecurity risks, she adds.

IT inventoried and labeled Mount Sinai’s entire application portfolio as decommission, invest, or contain retire, meaning officials won’t invest heavily in a certain platform and will review it on a yearly basis to see whether it should move into the invest or decommission categories.

Myers started this work in her prior role as senior vice president of applications at the healthcare system and calls it “a key component of any CIO program.”

The negative financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was the impetus to expand the program when she became CIO. “Clearly, with COVID, all of the healthcare institutions have been impacted in a very negative way from a financial perspective,’’ Myers says. “So you really have to review the budget line by line to build budgets moving forward.’’

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