The Application Rationalization Playbook has been around since June 2019, yet not all IT portfolio managers have taken advantage of it. A Federal IT expert encouraged agencies to utilize this playbook, not only to help with cloud migration but also said it can help save costs and get chief information officers (CIOs) on “the same page.”

During the Digital Government Institute’s virtual Enterprise Architecture Conference event April 21, Thomas Santucci, director of the Data Center & Cloud Optimization Initiative PMO at the General Services Administration (GSA), called the Application Rationalization Playbook, or App Rat as he calls it, “the highlight of the day” and discussed why it’s so important for agencies to use.

“This is really getting all of the direct reports to the CIO on the same page using the same data,” Santucci said. “Right now, there’s too many enterprise architects that are using Excel spreadsheets, collecting moment-in-time instances of all of their data collections. App Rat takes a little bit more of a holistic approach incorporating it into the acquisition process.”

“Part of FITARA was to get the CIOs more approval on any of their expenditures. So agencies are required to go through the CIO and get their CIO to sign off before purchasing anything over X amount of dollars. But that process is coming way too late for them to make any judgment on that application and there’s too little data to go with it,” he added.

The Application Rationalization Playbook was designed to help IT portfolio managers think through their digital modernization process and decide which applications actually belong on the cloud. Santucci said every CIO has a “little piece of the puzzle” and they all need to be “on the same page” when it comes to modernization.

“The fact that there’s a roadmap out there, I think agencies should take advantage of. And I think it really puts you in a good position for IT portfolio management, as well as EA and security,” Santucci said.

Additionally, he said by following the playbook and taking a hard look at labor costs, agencies “may save more money than we’ve done in the billions of dollars that we’ve saved closing data centers.”

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council, and GSA collaborated to create the playbook, which was published in June 2019. Those who want to access the playbook can find it here.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.