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An opening for app portfolio management?

Efforts to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley will drive growth in application portfolio management software, according to Forrester Research, which notes that APM solutions are paying off already for some companies.

Forrester says early practitioners of application portfolio management report reductions of 10-30 percent in maintenance costs and returns on project investments within 12 months. Aside from compliance with government regulations, Forrester cites these major drivers of APM adoption in 2005:

• Lack of application knowledge beyond legacies-IT management suffers from a lack of subject matter experts for most apps within its portfolios

• IT's unwillingness to whittle its app inventories, which take a back seat to higher-priority development and maintenance efforts

• Application change mandated by access from new business channels; as customers demand the conveniences of multi-channel access and self-service, companies that cannot keep up with the pace of technological change will lose customers. "Consequently, 2005 will see APM grow from an interesting niche discipline to a much more mainstream technique that will allow IT management to gain control of the activity and spending on existing applications," Forrester says.

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