CIO Leadership, Applications

Applications have personalities too -- "Applities"

Humanizing apps a step toward transformation

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Halloween heralds the arrival of the holiday season towards the end of the year with holiday parties and extended interaction with family and friends. You deal with people with varied personalities -- just like you deal with the myriad applications in your enterprise. Applications tend to “have a mind” of their own leading us to form our own unique impressions about their behavior and presence. Just like we do with people, we could engage in such an exercise when managing applications as well.

In this post and the one that follows next week, I will:

Define the various applications personalities -- or applities 
Big Kahuna

  1. Explain how enterprises can apply these characteristics to address various aspects of managing these applications
    The 5 applities that come to my mind. 

The Big Kahuna. The omnipresent app that is accessed by the whole enterprise for major business functions. At a retailer, the Big Kahuna is its order-entry system. In real life, this is the ”legend” – the person at a party who everyone knows and is conspicuous by their absence. 

Lone StarThe Lone Star. The reliable, old faithful app that is very effective at enabling a specific, mission- critical business process component and continues to evolve with the changing demands from the user community. The “steady eddies” people who are somewhat introverted but are always there for you, no matter what the circumstance. Think of rate calculation engines for financial companies.
Crowd Pleaser

The Crowd Pleaser. The application that is the big favorite for a large user base addressing their critical pain points.  Imagine a well-designed search application that has the right instrumentation behind it to retrieve the right information at the right time. Mr. or Ms. Congeniality – the charismatic person to whom everyone else is drawn because of their magnetic personality.

Problem ChildThe Problem Child. The application that keeps IT awake at night. The unpredictable, troublesome app that acts just like an adolescent. It keeps the CIO awake at night…its buggy, it crashes, it is out of control and no one wants to take ownership of it.

The Generalist. The app that serves a core back-office process or an enterprise-wide business process with generic, standardized functionality that applies to all organizational units within the enterprise. The Generalist possesses standardized functionality, like general ledger, allowing it to fit into any group within the company and quickly adapt to any surroundings. Acquaintances who can readily fit into any group of people at any time. Generalist

Profiling applications in this manner provides a subjective perspective that complements other objective techniques.

In my next post, I will be explaining the manner in which key aspects of applications transformation like the overall strategy, governance, communication plan, service level management and investments can be addressed using applities.

What about you? What kinds of applications do you have in your environment? Do you have a Problem Child? Are there other applities that come to your mind? Can applities be applied to service providers? Please let me know.

Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.


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Discussion
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pearl
Pearl Zhu 90 Points | Mon, 11/05/2012 - 18:00

Nadhan, thanks for sharing, very interesting and colorful series of application deployment blogs, my thought is: such vivid appication personality may also directly influence business process, enterprise architecture, even the business "culture", look forward to reading your upcoming blogs regarding application life cycle management on rationlization, modernization, integration, governance and optimization. thanks 

enadhan
E.G. Nadhan 270 Points | Mon, 11/05/2012 - 20:24

Pearl, Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts.  You certainly trigger some interesting ideas in my mind on how we could conceptually apply similar concepts in other areas like process, architecture etc.  Why only applications?  There are several other non-human entities that we deal with who may have a human interface (personality) as well.  Maybe, they are characterized differently.  In this post, for example, I wonder if service providers have personalities: http://bit.ly/OcBZ15.

Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.