Our journey continues with software inventory control

If you read the 2007 and 2008 Intel IT Annual Performance Report, you will see a few sections describing the contributions we were able to provide towards effective software application inventory control.

In 2007, some of the quotables are:

"To prevent our application environment from becoming highly complex and inflexible, Intel IT established an end-of-life program to remove outdated and redundant applications."

We had quite a few items which were ripe for picking. Our goals were easy to achieve and through the implementation of some simple algorithms comparing usage with cost with other parameters, we were able to identify our low-hanging fruit.

As explained in previous posts, we created a software application in order to capture and maintain our software metadata. The architecture, development and maintenance of this solution keeps me busy on a day-to-day basis.

Our goals for 2007 were achieved.

In 2007, IT and its partners EOLed 468 applications, exceeding our goal of a 15 percent annual reduction. The estimated net present value savings from EOLing these applications is USD 66 million.

One of our largest wins was the removal of the older data warehouses

As we moved into 2008 our cost savings continued. We expanded the metadata captured and pulled some existing functionality into the solution in order to remove redundant capabilities on the enterprise.

We are continuing our initiative to significantly reduce costs by retiring applications that are outdated or no longer needed. This work began in 2007, when we identified that many of these applications still consumed platform or maintenance resources. We now have an ambitious plan to reduce IT-owned applications by 50%, from about 1,500 to 800, over four years.

As we increased our scope beyond IT, our real installation base was closer to 3,000 applications due to the custom solutions needed to support our factory operations and tools. We continue to save money and get closer and closer to our goal every day.

By the third quarter 2008, we had reduced the number of applications by 37 percent since the start of the program. Based on progress to date, we expect to achieve our 50 percent target by the third quarter of 2009, more than a year ahead of the original schedule. We expect that retiring applications will result in a NPV of more than USD 50 million.

We are definately on track. At the end of 2008 we met (and actually exceeded) our goals.
Every day it is becoming more difficult to find the solutions no longer needed and the resources to help remove them from the environment.

Two of our biggest wins for 2008 was the removal of the mainframe from the environment and the inclusion of e-Discovery information into our inventory solution.

What advice can I give you?

  • Be specific with your goals.
  • Hold people accountable.
  • Do the inventory early and often.
  • Know when you reach a goal and celebrate it!
  • Be vigilant so not to just add more software once you remove the old. Net-zero inventory is not a reduction.