It's time to focus on (some) applications

* It appears as if most IT organizations have made the top-down approach transition

Until recently, the focus of virtually all IT organizations has been on individual technology domains such as networking, servers and security. For the last few years, however, there has been a steady drumbeat from many sources, including from us, that has encouraged IT organizations to supplement their current bottoms up approach that focuses on individual technology domains with a top down approach that focuses on a few key applications.

Until recently, the focus of virtually all IT organizations has been on individual technology domains such as networking, servers and security. For the last few years, however, there has been a steady drumbeat from many sources, including from us, that has encouraged IT organizations to supplement their current bottoms-up approach that focuses on individual technology domains with a top-down approach that focuses on a few key applications. As will be discussed in the next two newsletters, it appears as if most IT organizations have made that transition.

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As part of market research that was sponsored by NetQoS, 302 survey respondents were asked if their IT organization had identified, either formally or informally, a small set of business applications that are considered critical. Ninety three percent of the survey respondents indicated that they had. An interesting result of the research was that less than half of the survey respondents indicated that their company's business managers were significantly involved in the process of identifying the critical applications.

At first, that lack of involvement on the part of the company's business managers concerned us. However, the interviews that we conducted with some of the survey respondents assuaged at least some of our concerns. For example, the manager of IT at a midsize manufacturing organization explained that his company has very few critical applications. One such application is ERP. Because their use of ERP cuts across multiple internal organizations, there is not a single business manager who owns the application. As such, his IT organization has become the de facto owner of the ERP application and as a result, they did not spend much time discussing the importance of it with the various business managers.

We will continue this topic in our next newsletter. In the mean time, more information on this topic can be found here. We would also like to hear from you. What efforts has your IT organization taken to focus on applications? What has been the affect of these efforts?

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