- Map and understand the application portfolio
- Better manage application architecture
- Link applications with business processes
- Improve decision-making regarding transformation of the IT landscape
- Streamlined, centrally managed application portfolio
- More effective IT governance
- Better assessment of applications and their business relevance
- Improved team collaboration
Adopting MEGA Application Portfolio Management has allowed us to work in a more structured way. The solution uses a central repository, and it has helped us map our entire application portfolio, providing clearer visibility into our IT resources. - Francesco Rutigliano - Application Architecture, Innovation and Quality Assurance Manager
Can you please describe the business activities supported by the IT Department at Edison?
The IT Department supports business development, sales and marketing, and gas and power, as well as corporate and departmental projects. It also supports several cross-functional activities, including infrastructure, planning and control, application architecture, innovation and quality assurance. The main activity of my department is compliance and governance of application architecture. Quality assurance is also part of the department, as well as innovation, where we analyze new market trends to understand how they may create unique competitive opportunities.
An Enterprise Architecture project with MEGA to Application Portfolio Management
What were the challenges that led from the initial Enterprise Architecture project with MEGA to Application Portfolio Management?
At Edison, we have used MEGA’s enterprise architecture solutions for many years. With these solutions, we have been able to model our processes and describe our IT architecture and infrastructure. As you can imagine, we have many applications to manage. Prior to implementing Application Portfolio Management1, we did not know which applications supported each business process. In addition, the business had acquired many cloud applications, which created information silos. Information about applications was not consolidated, but stored and managed in different places. The same application could also have different names, making the inventory even more difficult to manage. To strengthen our IT governance, our objective was to extend the capabilities of our existing enterprise architecture program and include an application perspective in our repository. We wanted to integrate low layers of enterprise architecture (such as infrastructure) with high layers tied to business activities. We particularly wanted to understand how applications supported business processes. Our goal was to rate an application on its technical efficiency and also its business relevance and value.
Can you please describe the key steps of the Application Portfolio Management project?
We did a lot of work to gather application data that included information related to IT (deployment, hosting), functional scope and lifecycles. We associated applications with business processes so we could understand how each application supported the business.
After this first phase of the project was completed, we were able to compare the actual application portfolio with the one we thought to be current, and this gave us a better understanding of our IT resources.
If the mapping of applications was the most complex part of the project, was it also the most effective?
We encountered difficulties in creating an exhaustive list of all of our applications, because the same application could exist under different names and be used in different ways. Additionally, Edison, like many companies, has been subject to the “shadow IT” phenomena. For example, the company has purchased many SaaS applications to answer specific needs over the past few years. Even though we were rarely involved during the purchase of these cloud applications, we still needed to create an inventory of them, especially when the time came to decide whether to abandon an application or keep it.
What benefits has the MEGA solution for Application Portfolio Management provided to Edison?
Adopting an Application Portfolio Management solution has allowed us to work in a more structured way. The MEGA solution uses a single repository of information about all applications, which provides a better way to manage them. This process could not have been completed using Excel spreadsheets. The project also helped us streamline application names and map our entire IT portfolio, providing clearer visibility into our IT resources.
We have been able to link applications with business processes, so we can now better identify which applications are relevant and essential to the business. The MEGA solution allows us to create and share reports throughout the organization, so that we can keep even more people, including those outside of IT, informed about the status of our application portfolio. This provides a significant advantage for the entire company, not just IT.
We have decreased storage and infrastructure costs, which have always been one of our biggest expenses. By having a clearer view of our IT portfolio, we have improved decision making regarding future investments in IT resources.
Why did you choose MEGA?
We chose MEGA because we wanted an independent vendor with strong expertise in enterprise architecture and governance, risk and compliance (GRC). It was important to work with a company that, in addition to its expertise in these fields, would continue to develop new solutions with the main objective of providing an enterprise governance framework. We were looking for a strong partnership rather than a simple customer-supplier relationship. The MEGA team has always provided maximum availability, which is a key factor for us. We consider it a bonus that goes far beyond our basic expectations of vendors. Every year, we continue to have fruitful, top-level collaboration with the MEGA team.
What are the next steps of the project?
Our next step will be to get up-to-date application lifecycle information. The typical application lifecycle is shrinking due to the digitization of the business and we have to be more proactive to replace applications at the right time. In order to achieve this, we need effective governance that helps us understand how processes, technologies and applications fit together, so we will be in a position to quickly transform the IT portfolio. We have already taken the initial steps by mapping applications in MEGA’s solution.
Another fundamental project will be about Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). We will be putting all application costs in a central location so we can eliminate the multiple Excel files that contain this information and exist throughout the company.
Finally, another near-term goal is to give access to line-of-business managers to improve collaboration and decision-making.
- HOPEX IT Portfolio Management
- HOPEX Platform
- MEGA Services team
Edison is one of Italy’s leading players in the energy field. Its origins date back to 1883, when Edison opened Italy’s first electric energy facility in Milan. Since then, Edison has always been active in the energy industry, making a strong contribution to the development of Italy’s industrial structure. Today, Edison has 3,100 employees in more than 10 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with activities in the procurement, production and sales of electric power and natural gas. Currently, Edison has more than 1.5 million customers in Italy’s deregulated consumer market, just two years after entering this business.
An interview with Francesco Rutigliano - Application Architecture, Innovation and Quality Assurance Manager for Edison S.p.A.