Application Portfolio Management (APM) – why does it matter?

Application Portfolio Governance in brief

Application portfolio management (APM) is a classical discipline of the Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) practice. It is an important product and outcome of the EAM that links APM overall process of systems and technology optimisation, one of the overall EA processes aligning with business architecture. It helps organisations to make informed decisions about the use and maintenance and targeted future usage of their business applications and underlying software technologies.

The governance of the application portfolio should ideally be business-led, however, in larger organisations, business users cannot know what other parts of the organisation are using for their duties; hence an important element of the portfolio governance is to provide the “big picture” of the possible overlaps and redundancies of business applications, then to identify the options for optimising on evaluating the current set of applications in use. This leads to the questions about which ones are still necessary and valuable, and which ones can be retired or replaced. This process helps organisations identify and eliminate unnecessary or redundant business applications and software components, streamline their application landscape, and reduce costs and align to a more agile organisation.

APM is not a one-off. It involves the ongoing management and governance, which maintains the meta-data and compliance information. This includes setting priorities for new development, retirement, and maintenance, as well as tracking the performance and utilization for each business application.

The value of this architectural work federates with the ability to align the organisation’s information assets with its strategic goals and future strategies. By rationalizing and managing their application portfolio, organisations can ensure that they have the right mix of applications to support their future aspirations and support also the current business operations. This can lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved agility and effectiveness.

Application Roadmaps

As part of the communication of changes to the application landscape, application roadmaps and target landscape visuals are key for an APM initiative.
With modern toolsets like next-insight, you can quickly update the information and provide data-driven application roadmaps to help the communication and drive the change, as an integrated deliverable of the enterprise architecture, and typically associated to the overall EA process of systems & technology optimisation.

An application roadmap is a high-level plan that outlines the phases of when applications are modernised, phased in or out, to create a better fit-for-purpose landscape. It can include both short-term and long-term initiatives and can be used to guide decision-making and linkage to the long-term objectives of the business. In the context of applications rationalisation, a roadmap outlines the timing needed to rationalize the current application landscape, retire, or replace unnecessary applications, and prioritize new development and maintenance.

A target landscape, on the other hand, is a long-term vision for the organisation’s application landscape. It outlines the desired state of the organisation’s application portfolio in the future and can be used to guide the development of the roadmap. The two outcomes are interlinked. By linking the roadmap and target landscape to application rationalisation and portfolio management, organisations can ensure that their application portfolio is aligned with their business architecture and supports the achievement of the strategic goals.


It is impossible to master an APM approach without a digital technology to assist in the federation of data, updates, etc. There are various tools that can be used to support application rationalisation and application portfolio management, however, we recommend using next-insight, which is built on the leading technology and supports the bigger picture of EA and APM; it is a modern cloud-native solution that allows architects to focus on the approach and practice.

The value of a modern EAM toolset is the focus on the “big picture” while linking business architecture to applications architecture.


Implementing TIME framework can be a complex process without a clear structure or the right tool. Therefore, we recommend using next-insight to accelerate and amplify your Enterprise Architecture Management practice; the worlds leading low-code for enterprise architecture management.

We help you gain control over your IT landscape and start planning with roadmaps to keep processes and data up-to-date. If you need help to get started, or a tool that can accelerate your journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! 

Scroll to Top

Receive your whitepaper on Business Architecture!

Sign up below and receive a whitepaper on how to start your Business Architecture today. You will receive the whitepaper in your provided e-mail.

*Mandatory fields

Receive your whitepaper today

Sign up below and receive a whitepaper on how to scale your Enterprise Architecture. You will receive the whitepaper in your provided e-mail.

*Mandatory fields