What is Rationalization or Application Modernization?
Rationalize is an oft used word in mathematical parlance. And what it means is that it removes radicals (remember square roots 3, 5, etc in the denominators), such as from denominator, without changing the value (of an expression).
Mapping this definition from mathematical to Business application system context, we can say that Rationalization of Applications is nothing but the removal of specific parts in the application ecosystem which will make the ecosystem leaner and efficient, nevertheless, will not have any impact on the functionality delivered by it.
For IT Systems/Applications, what to rationalize?
In Mathematics, when we see a fraction, with say square root 3 in denominator, we know to Rationalize, it we have to multiply the fraction by the same radical. Unfortunately, this is not very easy when we try to map the analogy to IT Applications. So the question of what to rationalize can be answered by the business application designers by identifying the radicals in the system.
The rule of thumb should be that, if removing an application from the stack, keeps the functionality intact, then it is prudent to remove the application from the stack.
Evaluating an application for Rationalization:
The problem which large organizations face is that over a period of time, the number of IT applications reaches a stage or are so huge in number, it becomes difficult to calculate the utility of all the applications and the result is inefficient use of IT Applications.
But, how to evaluate an application for Rationalization?
These are the general guidelines:
- The application is legacy.
- The application is tactical, that is historically, and it was perceived to fulfill the tactical requirements of business.
- The data elements in an application bear similarity with other applications, which covers more functionality. (This is an application which has more number of functionality compared to the application to be rationalized.)
- The functionality provided by this application can be fulfilled by any other application with little impact.
- The removal of this functionality from the stack, does not impact the business in anyway.
The success of rationalization will depend on this.