From the blog: What do we mean by Application Rationalization? Once again we have IT terminology that sounds impressive but is vaguely defined and interpreted differently by many different people and organizations. If you look up the definition of “rationalization”, you will find that it means to justify. How does this apply to applications? Why would we have to rationalize applications? After all, if they were not providing benefit, they would not exist. Unfortunately, this is not a true statement. Many applications were justified based on a defined business value when they were originally authorized. The business benefits were defined and quantified, the costs were justified, functionality and technology were approved, and alternatives were dismissed. This rationalization process occurred 10-20 years ago for most legacy applications. Ironically, organizations look at people and positions periodically and justify keeping, eliminating, or outsourcing these positions but they rarely assess their application portfolio to re-validate the value and benefits from continued operations. Everyone assumes that if an application is in production, it must still provide benefits.