Application Portfolio Management at Edison: A solution to improve the IT Governance
- 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, gas and power, and corporate and departmental projects. It 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 and 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 challenges 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. Before 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 other names, making managing the inventory even more challenging. 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 enterprise architecture layers (such as infrastructure) with high layers tied to business activities. We mainly wanted to understand how applications supported business processes. Our goal was to rate an application on its technical efficiency, business relevance, and value.
Can you please describe the critical steps of the Application Portfolio Management project?
We did a lot of work to gather application data, including IT-related information (deployment, hosting), functional scope, and lifecycles. We associated applications with business processes to understand how each application supported the business.
After this first phase of the project was completed, we could compare the actual application portfolio with the one we thought to be current, which 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 creating an exhaustive list of all our applications because the same application could exist under different names and be used in different ways. Like many companies, Edison has also been subject to the "shadow IT" phenomenon. 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 deciding whether to abandon or keep an application.
What benefits have 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 to 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 most significant 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 solid expertise in enterprise architecture and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC). It was essential to work with a company that, in addition to its expertise in these fields, would continue to develop new solutions with the primary 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 exceeds our basic expectations of vendors. Every year, we continue 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 in replacing applications at the right time. To achieve this, we need effective governance that helps us understand how processes, technologies, and applications fit together so that we can transform the IT portfolio quickly. We have already taken the initial steps by mapping applications in MEGA's solution.
Another fundamental project will be the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). We will put all application costs in a central location to 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 solid contribution to developing Italy's industrial structure. Today, Edison has 3,100 employees in more than ten countries across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with activities in procuring, producing, and selling electric power and natural gas. 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.