IT Portfolio Assessment

IT Portfolio Assessment combines the methods of Enterprise Architecture, IT Service Management and Risk Management.

Enterprise Architecture is at the heart of this service, since it provides all of the business context required to make sense of large and complex IT portfolios. We will typically use a business capability model to help us navigate.

IT Service Management is used to understand how well technologies in operation support the business today, and in the future. If service levels have been agreed, are they being met, are they sustainable?

The language Risk Management is used to express the findings in absolute terms, such as the financial loss associated with wasted IT investment, or with major IT outages.

Why Would You Need This Service?

A rapid and comprehensive IT health-check and risk assessment.

Our IT Portfolio Assessment service is designed for CIOs with large technology portfolios, who are developing new IT strategies and are looking for insights and clear evidence to support strategic decisions, or simply to set short-term priorities.

IT Portfolio Assessment equips CIOs with a series of position statements, detailing which technologies they should retain, which they should replace and why. More than 50 data points are collected for each technology contribute to overall ratings of fitness and risk.

The data is important, but this is not a mechanical process – each position statement is deliberated by our experienced architects, who are familiar with the business and IT context.

Indicators that an organisation will benefit from an IT Portfolio Assessment:

  • increasing year-on-year run costs;
  • multiple end-of-life technologies with no upgrade path;
  • frequent project failure or low project turnover;
  • high spend on remedial change, to keep the lights on;
  • a backlog of high value requirements and a lack of innovation;
  • increasing or unexplained system errors or outages.

How We Deliver This Service

Assessment is conducted as a structured exercise, completed in phases, over a four to eight-week period. Stakeholder interviews are beneficial; however, our analysis can also be completed off-site using available documentation.

Phases of service delivery:

Initiation: captures the business context along with general and specific drivers for the assessment; also fixes the scope for the exercise;

Preliminary Analysis: establishes the architecture frameworks to be used and data-points to be collected; also identifies sources of information, and perhaps named points-of-contact;

Discovery: construction of a catalogue of technologies, populated with multiple data points against each part of the IT portfolio, typically centred on business applications but may also include infrastructure;

Analysis: interpretation and presentation of the assessment findings, typically expressed in terms of the fitness of each component, its sustainability and its contribution to the portfolio’s overall risk profile;

Deliverables

Portfolio Catalogue: a compilation of your organisation’s business application and technology components, assessed against c. 50 discrete criteria, such as technical fit, stability and cost;

Benchmarking: EAL has carried out more than 100 IT Portfolio Assessments, and so is able to make real-world comparisons against similar businesses, facing similar challenges; Business

Criticality Matrix: how your organisation defines the relative importance or value of an IT service, and how this should be interpreted and applied;

Portfolio Risk Profile: a report, using your organisation’s risk framework and language, which quantifies and explores the operational and strategic risks arising from using your IT Portfolio;

Typical Outcomes

CIOs request this service in order gain new insights, but behind this, there is almost always a suspicion that their IT portfolio is beginning to fail. IT Portfolio Assessment can answer this question, providing greater recognition of the business risks associated with the IT portfolio.

IT Portfolio Assessment always uncovers new information, which can be used immediately to develop new strategies, to adjust operating plans, to reprioritise the change pipeline. Sometimes reassuring but often concerning, the findings generated by this service almost always spark a reaction.

Case Studies

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