Recently, we published an article on how the Department of Interior was meeting the challenges of IT Portfolio Management head-on to reduce operating expenses and better deliver on the agency’s mission. Kevin Schmitt, who is responsible for portfolio planning and management for the Department of Interior and shared his experiences with us, is very much a pioneer in this field. So it got the team here thinking about what are the essential things you need to know in order to be successful in your IT planning and the analysis and governance of your IT portfolio.
Chris Steel, Software AG Government Solutions’ chief solutions architect, identified the five most important things that IT managers and CIOs need to know when then embark on measuring their own IT portfolio prowess. Having advised government CIOs looking to understand what’s in their IT portfolio and manage it effectively, Chris has a broad perspective on the pitfalls and pluses in how agencies approach IT portfolio management and, recently, he shared his thoughts with FCW readers.
For Chris, the problems with IT portfolio management start with the fact that “IT decision-makers often rely on information that is, on average, 14 months old and only 55 percent accurate.” And it’s easy to see how starting with inaccurate information sets a team’s efforts up, if not for failure, then for suboptimal outcomes. So, to avoid getting caught up in a cycle of outdated information, Chris identified 5 questions that IT managers and CIOs can use to measure their portfolio data with confidence.
1. Which applications put your agency at risk?
How are you tackling IT risk management? Do you know the recovery times for your applications and how they might affect business continuity in the event of an IT failure? What about the cost per minute of downtime of your mission-critical apps? Do you have applications that are no longer under maintenance?
A portfolio analysis is the best place to start with a comprehensive IT risk assessment. Tracking your IT assets and linking systems and applications to mission requirements are goals every IT manager should strive to achieve.
2. Is every application in line with your technology road map?
Technology life cycles play a critical role in choosing the right applications for your organization. Do you know which technologies you’ll be retiring and which commercial products are nearing their end of life? Are you properly planning migration projects by understanding all the dependencies between your IT assets?
Want to read Chris’s other 3 question areas to gauge if your agency’s IT portfolio knowledge is where it needs to be? Click here to read the full article in FCW. Interested in learning more about IT portfolio management solutions? Click here.