At first glance, while they are complementary disciplines, Application Portfolio Management (APM) may not seem to have a lot of interaction with IT Project Portfolio Management. After all, one is concerned with maximizing the bang for the buck from your base assets while the other is aimed at optimizing business return from your project investments – one focuses on operations while the other focuses on change.
This could not be further from the truth – decisions made to change your technology fabric start as projects, but end up impacting operational base assets. Conversely, resource availability which is the chronic critical source of risk for most organization’s IT project portfolios is directly impacted by APM decisions.
Ask any IT executive that has seen their staffing utilization for “keeping the lights running” increase year-over-year – the more this operational utilization grows, the less resource availability we have to work on strategic projects or to help our organizations truly innovate.
This leads me to my assertion that a critical success factor for IT PPM is to have a mature APM practice that initiates & champions application & system consolidation or replacement strategies in a timely fashion. This will not make IT popular in the short term (as end users are highly loyal to their favorite tools) but no one said that successful management was supposed to be easy!