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

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-07-22
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - 9 Ways for Enterprises to Find Unused Apps and Weed Them Out
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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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    2 - Trim Desktop Apps
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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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    3 - Practice Good Housekeeping for Your Apps
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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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    4 - Continuously Gather Inventory
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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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    5 - Normalize and Categorize
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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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    6 - Identify the Application Owner
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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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    7 - Make Decisions Based on Compatibility
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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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    8 - Clearly Identify Next Steps and Initiate Workflow
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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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    9 - Maintain a Clean House With Continuous App Rationalization
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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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    10 - Cut costs With Application Rationalization
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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.
 

Today's enterprises have amassed many applications that must be maintained and supported daily. The amount of apps in most portfolios has vastly increased due to mergers, acquisitions and organic growth, and includes a wide range of desktop applications, editions and versions. The resulting application sprawl increases operational, infrastructure and support costs and leaves enterprises open to additional risk from software vulnerabilities. Businesses rely on a large number of commercial off-the-shelf software and may develop custom applications for specific functions. Unfortunately, software of all kinds—whether written in-house or by a third party—can introduce new risks. An unhealthy percentage of apps that are unnecessary, duplicative, end-of-life or unauthorized can cost enterprises millions of dollars—and exposes them to cyber-security risks—especially during major migrations. Keeping data secure and users safe continues to challenge organizations of every size and type. This eWEEK slide show, based on input from Flexera Software, shows how enterprises can clean house of unneeded apps to improve cyber-security with application rationalization. Application rationalization is the process of identifying unused apps and trimming them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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