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Application Portfolio Management

Gartner TIME to identify cloud modernization potentials and rationalization candidates

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The GartnerĀ® TIME model is a well-known method to analyze a business application portfolio and associate transformation opportunities with each application.

These transformation opportunities are described as "Tolerate", "Invest", "Migrate" and "Eliminate" (hence the acronym "TIME") and help enterprise architects, business application owners or the Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) to decide on ways forward for each application of their portfolio.

time-quadrant-recommendationsFigure 1. A TIME report in Txture showing all applications used by the sales organization with different node sizes representing monthly run costs for those applications.

The TIME outcomes, as we can see in Figure 1, are built from rating each business application from two distinct angles, namely business (or functional) fit and technical fit. The outcomes have the following meanings:

  • Tolerate: this set of applications has likely no particular strategic relevance for the business; it is to be evaluated how much they serve users and clients. Nevertheless their technical stack is adequate or fully state-of-the-art, so one typical route is to maintain this application as it is, hence tolerating it for the moment.

Additional criteria such as run cost, carbon footprint, expected migration effort can greatly help to have further precision in your future decisions around this application. In Txture, we have added such functionality to our quadrant reports (see Figure 2), and different circle sizes of the displayed application asset nodes.

  • Invest: applications with further investment potential are those that are central to achieving business goals, but also enabling innovation levers. These applications can become key differentiators for the business. Additionally their technical fit is high. Depending on expected migration efforts or possible cost savings, a cloud transformation can be one option of investment.

  • Migrate: these applications are business critical, but are not appropriate anymore from a technical perspective. They need to be preserved and could become later investment candidates, but the primary objectives should be to create a technical foundation for them that will enable e.g. faster development and time-to-market, reduce maintenance efforts and improve extensibility.

A cloud move is typically considered a potent way to implement TIME's Migrate recommendation. This is since re-establishing a proper technical architecture and technical processes can be tackled with cloud together.

  • Eliminate: applications that don't impact continuous business objectives and furthermore are technically weak, should be considered for phase out from the business application portfolio. Again, additional aspects like current run cost or carbon footprint can help to build a priority roadmap for eliminating particular business applications.

With Txture's new release we now offer a standard calculation model for TIME and a TIME quadrant report, see an example in Figure 2, also briefly describing types of assets, asset properties and dependencies used in this model.

time-quadrant-application-analysisFigure 2. Example application where properties like business value, related to IT operations, technology end-of-service, etc. as well as links (e.g. deployment dependencies) are factored into business fit and technical fit for an automated TIME assessment.

The Txture default TIME calculation model can be adjusted to include any additional assets, characteristics or dependencies, in case an internal specific model has been built already. Also the quadrant report can be used in a generic fashion, for instance to implement other methods of portfolio assessment, like BCG Growth-Share matrix.

Make informed rationalization decisions by using TIME capabilities in Txture. Txture is your go-to Cloud asset management and transformation software suite and TIME is a great method to determine which business applications to focus on in both an on-premises-to-cloud move or a cloud-to-cloud modernization.

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