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Application sprawl is growing issue admit Euro enterprises

So-called ‘application sprawl’ is now a major issue for European organisations, tying-up resources for maintenance that could be used for innovation, claims research from HP.

The 2010 ‘Application Management Survey’ suggests that 50 per cent of European CIOs feel that they are being prevented from implementing their application modernisation initiatives by businesses who are ‘concerned about the risk of making the changes’. CIOs across all countries and business sectors surveyed confirmed that they consider effective management of the applications portfolio to be critical to business success, with 97 per cent yea-saying.

Application portfolios are continuing to grow, which continually increases complexity and risk, and fuels the rising maintenance cost, the research claims: 74 per cent of the surveyed CIOs consider application sprawl to be ‘a major issue’ in their organisation. French organisations seem to be suffering the most, with 83 per cent of CIOs agreeing that application sprawl is ‘a problem’, as compared to 58 per cent in the UK sample. Utilities and telecoms report experiencing application sprawl more than any other sector.

Additionally, CIOs responded that almost 15 per cent of applications in use across the business are ‘underutilised and not providing real business benefit’. A third of all respondents suggested that the proportion of underutilised applications was in excess of 20 per cent in their organisation. Servicing and supporting these applications that deliver ‘little or no value’ to the business leads to ‘higher and unnecessary maintenance costs’. 

As a result, the report estimates, 5.8 per cent of total annual technology budgets are being ‘wasted’ on supporting under-utilised software applications, according to the survey results. Based on average enterprise IT spend in Western Europe, this spend equates to over $16bn of waste. This now represents a huge potential cost-cutting opportunity for CFOs and CEOs under pressure to improve bottom line performance, HP avers.
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