IBM on oath to cut internal apps by 85 per cent

Aims to have a global process

IBM has reduced the number of applications it uses internally by 70%, but that's not enough for CIO Jeanette Horan.

When the company started its consolidation efforts, it had around 16,000 applications. It has since reduced that number to 4500, "but that's still too many," Horan said.

Horan has given her team the task of cutting the number of remaining applications in half by the end of 2015. That would result in an overall reduction of around 85 per cent from the original 16,000.

"I don't know whether we'll make it or not, but it's a good goal," Horan said in an interview.

IBM's aim is to have common applications across all business units. "If you've got different applications in different countries, you don't have a global process," said Horan, who was appointed to her post a year ago.

Application consolidation is becoming a hot topic again, "especially as organizations are moving some applications to the cloud," said John Longwell, vice president at research firm Computer Economics. A survey that his firm conducted in 2010 found that a little more than a third of organizations had application consolidation projects underway.

IBM estimates that it has saved around $1.5 billion as a result of application and data center consolidation projects over several years.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on

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