9 Ways for Enterprises to Find Unused Apps and Weed Them Out

1 - 9 Ways for Enterprises to Find Unused Apps and Weed Them Out
2 - Trim Desktop Apps
3 - Practice Good Housekeeping for Your Apps
4 - Continuously Gather Inventory
5 - Normalize and Categorize
6 - Identify the Application Owner
7 - Make Decisions Based on Compatibility
8 - Clearly Identify Next Steps and Initiate Workflow
9 - Maintain a Clean House With Continuous App Rationalization
10 - Cut costs With Application Rationalization
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9 Ways for Enterprises to Find Unused Apps and Weed Them Out

Cleaning up application sprawl is crucial because it can increase operational, infrastructure and support costs and leave enterprises open to security risks.

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Trim Desktop Apps

A Flexera survey showed that 64 percent of respondents said they have more desktop apps installed than required. Unused, legacy apps consume network, hardware and IT resources that can be used for other purposes. Patching and maintaining underused apps also equates to wasted hours of IT time.

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Practice Good Housekeeping for Your Apps

An efficient move to a new platform is like moving from one house to another. Prior to doing so, it's time to clean house—only bringing necessary assets. Thoroughly testing applications for compatibility with a new OS takes time and effort. Decreasing the apps that need to be moved through daily application rationalization can significantly diminish project size.

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Continuously Gather Inventory

Collect application evidence and usage data from your inventory tool to find data that distracts from the rationalization effort. The inventory data may have inconsistent vendor naming and include minor versions and patches, which makes it hard to understand what apps you have, and which need attention.

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Normalize and Categorize

Collected inventory must be normalized and standardized into consistent vendor names, software titles and consolidated versions. Normalization of raw inventory data can decrease inventory by a factor of 10. If done manually, normalization is a complex, extensive process prone to data-quality errors. Using an automated solution provides a software recognition service that turns raw inventory into actionable data and keeps up with software updates and new applications.

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Identify the Application Owner

Each application should have an owner that represents the line of business. Note the owner for each software title and work with them and subject-matter experts to determine the application's value to the business, and negotiate which competing products to standardize.

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Make Decisions Based on Compatibility

It's crucial to understand the technology required to support the application and with which platforms it is compatible.

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Clearly Identify Next Steps and Initiate Workflow

Create application portfolio rationalization projects by business units, users, machines or applications. Each application will usually be assigned to one of four workflows: retire, replace, upgrade and retain.

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Maintain a Clean House With Continuous App Rationalization

To prevent application sprawl from reoccurring, keep your application portfolio clean, secure and "change-ready" for the next major effort. React quickly to new efforts by rationalizing daily software requests as part of an application readiness strategy. Maintaining a right-sized application portfolio keeps desktop apps under control and the organization agile. Keeping your house free of clutter also decreases threats, streamlines vulnerability assessments, and reduces security patches that need to be managed and deployed.

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Cut costs With Application Rationalization

Organizations can save 10 percent or more with application rationalization. Other benefits include streamlined operations, decreased complexity, improved innovation and enhanced security. It can also prevent application sprawl and increase business alignment. The ultimate goal is to establish an automated, end-to-end process for managing apps over their lifecycles—requiring standardization, integration and high automation intelligence to drive decision making about which applications are allowed.

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