IT4Control helps Information IS organizations, IT Managers and CIOs to better understand, monitor and transform their IT by entering in a virtuous circle.
We offer a comprehensive solution to enable the delivery of effective and useful business applications and services.
Our solutions provide the visibility and in depth understanding for decision making. We strengthen the contribution of IT to the business and operation efficiency of the company. Information technology becomes a competitive differentiator, a source of innovation and process optimization.
Achieve greater visibility and more precise comprehension of the operation of your information system, as well as its key business, technical and economic aspects
Your application portfolio is crucial: it represents, automates and controls the heart of company activity. But as your strategy and activity move forward, applications also evolve. The application portfolio becomes increasingly complex as new applications are created, existing applications evolve and new developments are added.
In parallel, IT department personnel who are familiar with the portfolio or who provide service for it might change jobs or leave the company, leaving a gap in application portfolio knowledge.
This is where IT4Control can help. IT4® includes the 4PPM® and 4APM® functions that give you the means to conserve information and information history together in a sole repository and then provide specific access to it. You will be able to tie together elements that were previously scattered in heterogeneous, compartmentalized silos, such as requests for upgrades or maintenance and their associated costs.
IT4® gives you the keys to resolve technical aspects, analyze the impact of version upgrades and evaluate business utilizations. You will be able to determine the value, risk and cost of IT for your company and thus be able to establish the levels – and budget – necessary for implementing maintenance and modernizing your system.
IT4Control brings an answer to the business, financial and technical questions of each key participant with a solution that is unified and integrated: IT4®
Your company’s activity is managed from different angles. The same is true of your IT portfolio. Business users want to know if functions will meet expectations, if there will be a gain in efficiency and productivity, if it will be easy to adapt business processes, etc. Those who are in charge of operating or possibly externalizing the applications want to facilitate application maintenance, prepare for the future and be assured that a potential supplier will meet service needs.
This means that Application Portfolio Management will be carried out in different ways and using different solutions, depending on the persons involved. IT4Control provides an answer for everyone with IT4®, a unified solution.
Know application structure
IT4® stores knowledge and conserves its history, thus reinforcing expertise. All information concerning organization of the application and its components can be indicated in the application file. In addition, this information can be completed by an analysis of third-party tools, such as those by Cast Software, and IT4Control partner, or other market solutions.
All this knowledge is paramount and leads to a savings in time and workload when a new team takes over or when solution maintenance is externalized.
Know the relationship between applications and application mapping
IT4® describes the relations between applications and allows documenting them. This reduces time needed to identify impact, control risk and prepare related projects and budgets for upgrade study.
These relations are visually represented through application mapping that lists the applications, their components, the links between them and the types of links.
Know application health
IT4® provides the possibility of identifying points of application malfunction at any level. To do this, the solution takes into account a broad range of information and summarizes it in a way that is concretely useful. This can be, for example, user opinions, help-desk or operational incidents or automatic measurement of application performance.
In contrast to many solutions that provide only a fragmented view, IT4® correlates information from numerous sources: operation, code, help desk, etc. Problems are thus rapidly identified and persons in charge are able to solve them rapidly according to priorities.
Application managers can use IT4® and the 4APM® functions to identify applications and processes with low added value for business, redundant applications and dead ends, which are excellent candidates for externalization, replacement or rewriting. These upgrades and projects can be integrated in project portfolio management and tied to the application concerned in order to follow the upgrading process. In consequence, management is free to concentrate on business priorities and the tasks necessary to moving the application portfolio toward the target.
Applications have value because they support and automate business activity processes. IT4® provides solutions for localizing, documenting, organizing and improving the business logic sustained by the applications and the application portfolio and keeping it properly in line with company activity.
Pilot and Manage the Information System
As your business strategy and activity change, applications evolve. The application portfolio becomes increasingly complex as new applications arrive, existing applications are modified and new applications are developed.
Today, all your company activity that is based on the successful implementation of business processes rests largely on the application portfolio. If applications are not able to do the job, the result is a loss of effectiveness. However, this portfolio evolves over time. Knowing and understanding it facilitates making adequate decisions for the long term. Within a framework of good governance, the portfolio must be piloted or it will risk being out of phase with your business processes, thus causing a loss in efficiency and competitive advantage.
Piloting the application portfolio must therefore have as its goal the assurance of conformity to business needs for the short, mid and long term. Based on technical, economic, business and human feedback, you decide on actions to be taken, for instance, to improve quality. To do this, you analyze factors such as the applications with the worst quality record, why users complain about them to the help desk, and trouble tickets associated to operation and performance.
Thanks to IT4®, you will be able to tell whether this is due to technical aspects only, to an operating defect or to a bug.
For the first time, IT4® ties together applications, operations and business goals
IT4® helps you pilot your application portfolio over the mid term. At regular intervals – for example, every six months – you can carry out an analysis of the application portfolio to identify where risks are located or which actions should be carried out to develop business and how to allocate the necessary budget.
Your users will have a clear idea of what the application portfolio currently provides, of which actions should be done and of how this will benefit the users. Business piloting of applications is done, for example, by associating goals and business indicators to application evaluation and indicators. This association allows tying together applications, the IT system and company operational and business objectives in a highly effective way.
Pertinent piloting indicators and reports are defined during a study made by IT4Control or a certified partner and the company project team. This information, which is the basis for making decisions, will be validated by all participants and then applied at all levels according to needs. It will enable users to measure the gap between their expectations and the current situation and to determine the priorities for maintenance operations, actions concerning architecture and application upgrading in a way that will enhance the pertinence of the application portfolio.
This could lead to removing certain applications or components, consolidating the infrastructure, carrying out an operational development, eliminate redundant applications, externalize non-critical applications, etc.
Decide according to business value
The best way to decide on evolution is to concentrate on the business value of applications. IT4® and its partners rely on Application Portfolio Management methodology and the IT4® solution featuring 4APM® functionality to define the business value of applications and position them with respect to each other. This overall view is completed by taking into account technological and economic value.
Pilot implementation of decisions and modernization plans
IT4® supplies the means to pilot and ensure implementation of decisions and modernization plans. The functionality provided by 4PPM® lets you link applications to modernization projects. Thanks to IT4®, your information system will become part of a continuous improvement loop that is synonymous with good governance.
Transform the Information System
The IT4® solution pilots transformation of the IT system and its migration from an existing situation toward the desired target, in order to optimize IT and reduce costs
Transforming applications implies following both evolution requests and application evolution projects. IT4® offers solutions for successfully monitoring each of these aspects.
Transformation involves taking into account evolution requests – most notably, operational requests – that are necessary to adapt the applications to business process requirements. These requests can be classified according to their business, technical, etc. priority. Next, their successful handling depends on different factors. Among these, we can list piloting of request processing, which entails proper attribution of requests, and follow-up all the way to resolution or delivery. Thus, it is useful to attribute these requests according to technical competence required.
Request processing can be managed according to request typology. For example, we will attribute SAP requests to the SAP competence center. We can also attribute them according to the speed required for processing user requests of the same type or according to the productivity of persons or service desks.
Attribution of requests can be done according to different criteria that are tied to skills, processing costs, geography, etc.; in the case where the company uses externalization, it can compare costs with productivity. Thus, company teams may involve a higher cost but be more productive and efficient.
Projects are the logical consequence of IT system transformation. It is necessary to tie them to applications and to integrate the contribution of each project at the level of operations, business processes, technical concerns, security, etc.
Consequently, an application will be characterized by its existing state, as well as by its history in terms of projects or requests. Being able to access a list of documented functions and of documentation in general will allow optimizing future development work, thus facilitating its transformation.
Implementation of Easy and Efficient Portfolio Management
Implementing an easy and efficient system of Project Portfolio Management is necessary to gain visibility on costs and risks, while encouraging consideration of projects from a business viewpoint.
Delivery of projects on-time and within budget are the two main indicators followed by IT department managers and the company. However, as the number of projects or their complexity increases, it becomes more and more difficult to have a good grasp of project portfolio workings, to pilot costs and deadlines and to guarantee the value created for the company. In this case, costs and deadlines become an adjustable variable for attaining goals of delivery and business functionality development: thus, we see delays, budget overrun, even project abandonment. According to most analysts, 30% of IT projects are 10 to 20% over initial budget, and one of every four projects will end up costing twice as much as what was planned at the start.
Lack of visibility also affects focus and trade-offs during the project lifecycle. Nonetheless, this issue can be resolved by raking priorities according to criteria, such as the fact that the project may have an operational, regulatory or technical predominance.
Implementation of proper project portfolio management will take care of these difficulties, but only if there is adequate organization, often in the form of a PMO, proper definition of needs and the choice of an appropriate solution that is configured to company maturity.
During implementation of the IT4® solution and the 4PPM® functionalities, we define simple indicators and reports that should be used upstream to identify the causes of drift and make the decisions necessary to correct it. We ensure that managers will have transversal and overall project portfolio visibility. We provide a reading of the projects that takes into account the business dimension and creates exchange between business and project departments.
Portfolio Application Management: Align and Reduce Management Costs
Management and use of applications represents 70 to 80% of the IT department budget. However, studies of common practice show that application management is often rather improvised and even disorganized. Information is stored in scattered databases or in Excel files located here and there in different services, and the application manager’s knowledge of application components and the links between applications and the application portfolio is primarily intuitive. Consolidation on the corporate level is very difficult and knowledge is lost when staff members change positions or leave the company.
In this context, we can easily understand why company application portfolio management is difficult, especially when the company is based at different sites. Application management is carried out as well as possible under the circumstances: in other words, as long as no issues arise.
When the application portfolio is poorly managed, costs are not correctly piloted and adapted to business priorities, and evolution requests needing management will not be managed as projects but will be lumped together with maintenance. In addition, it is impossible to implement a proactive approach for preventing malfunctioning issues or incidents tied to implementation of changes and results in a decrease in user satisfaction.
One of the reasons that explains why the application portfolio is not optimized is that its implementation is complex and requires a sizable investment in resources. However, even though the portfolio might not be installed clearly and with the appropriate tools, this won’t keep IT departments and personnel from creating and maintaining their own personal solutions to meet their application management needs. The result is a multitude of references, non-reproducibility of management processes, great difficulty in collaborating and sharing information, etc.
Everyone recognizes that a project should be adapted to the organization and maturity of the company, precisely to avoid launching a project that is too ambitious, complex or costly to be successful. In the same way, management of the application portfolio should be adapted to the IT department and could very well involve simple piloting based on the main cost indicators, monitoring user satisfaction (notably following version changes) and indicators like obsolescence, and ensuring the necessary skills. Knowledge management can be effected using an application brief that includes the main information concerning the application: who is in charge of it, how long it has existed, what technologies are used, its critical level, etc. For more mature organizations, it will be a question of detailed descriptions of the applications, possibly from urbanization or Enterprise Architecture.
Application Portfolio Management is a new field. It represents a circle of continuous improvement designed to reduce risks and enhance system adaptation to the business needs of the company and to the evolution of its perimeter, which are priority goals for the IT department. Mergers, acquisitions and general evolution of perimeters have become very common. In this context, mastery of the application portfolio is a key factor in success.
Dashboards: implement the necessary synthesis
Collect information and provide the only indicators for decision making
IS Managers face an avalanche of indicators on their operations. This applies to both projects, production, networking, security, quality of service, helpdesk, etc.. Therefore it is often difficult to make the good decisions at the good moment. Clearly, the relevant indicators are not only technical but also organizational, financial, or related with HR. Above all is it is necessary to have defined the objectives, therefore the right KPIs connected with the right reports.
Many ICT organizations own software tools for monitoring and reporting. But these solutions are heavy to deploy and to change. They are not flexible, and they are expensive. Many of them are on the shelf, that is to say unused. As a contrary IT4® offers features in a SaaS model to quickly implement a solution which leverages all Information System data and delivers what you are looking for.
With IT4® you can easily show how ICT contributes to business. It is a real and simple solution to implement a strategic dialogue between the IT Organization and other departments using :
Short term indicators: are projects on time and on budget ?
Middle term indicators: how are maintenance costs connected with requests and anomalies and business value ?
Long term : how do I decommission redundant applications ? how do I motivate my staff ?
An OnDemand solution
IT4®, the Collaborative Solution for IT Governance
The IT4 platform, a collaborative solution for IT governance, is available both as an installation within the company or in SaaS mode, as a software service. With this offer, IT4Control puts governance within the reach of all companies and administrations, not just large groups, and proposes a simplification of support and a reduction in IT management costs.
IT departments currently encounter three major problems:
The need to pilot and industrialize complex systems
Lack of an IT budget
Lack of resources, which are dedicated in priority to business and not to IT support
Forget about complicated, costly software! IT4® governance through SaaS enables an IT department to stay focused on company activity and remain within budget.
Stay focused on business thanks a flexible and personalizable IT governance solution
IT departments dedicate many months and numerous resources to the tasks of implementation, maintenance and upgrading, with no impact on business, without even treating operational aspects, and without helping the company or its organization to develop services and products for its users. This is why our shared system can help them: by reducing the time dedicated to activities with low added value and by allowing these specialists to concentrate on activities that have more value for the company.
These are the advantages:
Known costs: starting at €80 (excluding tax) per month and per user
No hardware or software to install
Integration with the rest of the information system thanks to adequate tools (exports/ imports, batches, Web services, etc.)
World-class service that proposes possibilities of evolution, back-up and availability
Recognized partners for support and guidance
Deployment that is up to 90% faster than with traditional software