SoftwareOne case study

Energy company optimizes post-acquisition IT estate

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Learn more how SoftwareOne helped an energy company to rationalize its IT environment post-acquisition to drive out costs. It saved USD 4M in its first year – using SoftwareOne certified team of APM experts.

After an acquisition, an energy company found itself with a large IT environment that it needed to optimize. The system contained numerous on-premises legacy systems and, in many cases, duplicate applications. With operations in Canada and the US, the company needed to drive out costs, reduce duplication and create a unified IT environment that would work efficiently for the newly integrated organization. This optimization was also necessary to prepare the company for a migration to the cloud. The company used SoftwareOne’s Application Portfolio Management (APM) methodology to identify applications, including applications that were no longer being used at all, duplicates and other unnecessary applications. Over three years, the company was able to reduce its number of applications by over 50%. It was then able to implement ServiceNow APM to help it maintain its new level of efficiency.

  • USD 4M

    savings in licensing and maintenance costs in year 1

  • 55%

    reduction in number of applications

  • Maturity

    gained by building a centralized APM in-house practice

Energy company
Application Portfolio Management
Canada, United States
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Acquisition resulted in complicated, inefficient IT

When the energy company finalized its purchase of another energy company, it found that it had doubled all the inefficiencies of its aging, on-premises legacy IT systems.

Both of the companies had on-premises legacy systems that already had duplications within their existing portfolios. And neither had strong processes in place around how to manage those portfolios. The acquisition accelerated the need to deal with such inefficiencies. The company needed to rationalize applications to work across the organization and it needed to drive out unnecessary costs. Neither of the companies had had a formal application portfolio management practice in place. The integrated company did not have the resources to manage the initiative on its own nor did it have a strategy on how to go about such a project.

The company turned to SoftwareOne’s accredited APM experts to help it better understand its business.

SoftwareOne embarked on a data collection initiative, gathering a list of all the applications each company had been using – which had been stored in spreadsheets and on shared drives – to create a consolidated list, tagging each application to indicate which company had owned it. Having compiled this list, SoftwareOne's next step was to identify and meet with the individual application owners – more than 100 in total.


Electricity pylons at night with a starry sky.

Easy wins and hard work add up to success

It took several weeks to collect and consolidate application data, and analyze application use data. At the end of the analysis, SoftwareOne produced a report that ranked the applications in multiple categories. These categories indicated how often the application was used, how easy it would be to remove it from the company’s IT environment and how great the resulting benefit would be.

The purpose of this analysis was to optimize the application portfolio and find cost synergies, while standing up a centralized in-house APM practice with the skills, mindset and information to decommission applications that were no longer needed. This was important because, without an in-house APM practice, there was no centralized oversight, which led to waste. For example, when software licenses came up for renewal, the company renewed systems that had already been identified as ready for retirement. That was because there was no communication between the department that paid invoices, the department that made strategic IT decisions and the staff members who actually decommissioned IT resources.

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Among the business benefits delivered:

  • USD 4M saved in year 1: Savings on licensing and maintenance fees were quickly realized.
  • Reduced complexity: The company reduced its number of applications by 55%.
  • Established a process and governance framework: The project has introduced an APM culture to the organization that is better able, with the help of a ServiceNow APM implementation, to maintain the gains made.
  • Software license cost avoidance: Cut unnecessary licenses and optimized remaining applications to save costs.
  • Increased visibility of IT landscape: Including improved insights into IT costs.
  • Helped prepare company for cloud migration: The project documented the company’s IT environment and optimized it so that it can be more easily migrated to the cloud.

Application Portfolio Management delivered integrated IT and millions in savings

Working with SoftwareOne helped the company to identify all of its applications, the opportunities to rationalize them and to develop a multi-year plan. These quick wins were important, because the company was looking to reduce costs in the wake of the acquisition. But not all applications are equal. Although the process of planning and executing the easy wins was accomplished in about 24 weeks, retiring some applications would take much longer.

For example, retiring the duplicate ERP implementations was a complex undertaking that took several years. That’s because ERP implementations were tightly integrated into the business and transitioning to a single, integrated ERP requires careful planning and testing.

The project took about four years to execute in full, and the final portion was conducted remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the energy company’s team, working in consultation with SoftwareOne, progressed from quick wins to more challenging undertakings, it developed skills and gained knowledge to help it achieve APM best practices.

The quick wins resulted in a savings of USD 4M in just one year, which proved the value of the process and hit targets that the company had set during the post-acquisition integration. Further savings were realized in subsequent years. SoftwareOne has also helped the company to develop its ServiceNow capabilities, providing it with the tools and knowledge needed to keep application growth rational and cost-effective.

With 55% fewer applications, the company is now running a leaner organization, helping it to operate more efficiently in a challenging business climate.

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