Streamlining Security and Reducing Risks: The Power of Application Portfolio Rationalization


Application portfolio rationalization (APR) is the process of evaluating and streamlining an organization’s application portfolio to improve security and mitigate risks. This process involves identifying unnecessary or outdated applications, assessing their security risks, and making recommendations for decommissioning or migrating them to a more secure environment.

But this is merely the definition of APR. The “why” remains: WHY is APR important for organizations?

APR is essential for organizations of all sizes, but it is especially important for those that are heavily reliant on software applications. The more applications an organization has, the more complex its IT environment becomes and the more difficult it is to manage security risks. APR can help organizations to simplify their IT environments, reduce their attack surface and improve their overall security posture.

Risk for organizations that neglect application rationalization

Failing to implement application rationalization exposes organizations to significant risks that can impact competitiveness, financial stability and overall performance:

  • Heightened cybersecurity vulnerabilities: Numerous applications increase the attack surface, making the organization more vulnerable to cyber threats and data breaches.
  • Reduced productivity: A bloated software portfolio creates inefficiencies, leading to lost productivity that can hamper business objectives.
  • Escalating IT costs: Redundant or unnecessary applications lead to higher licensing fees, maintenance costs and support services; all of which affect financial stability.
  • Challenges in meeting compliance requirements: Non-compliance may result in fines, legal action and reputational damage.
  • Data management difficulties: Scattered data across multiple applications hinders access, analysis and strategic decision-making. 
  • Enterprise Architecture: Application rationalization helps streamline and optimize the application portfolio, aligning it with the overall enterprise architecture strategy and improving IT infrastructure efficiency.
  • Audit And Compliance: By identifying and eliminating redundant, outdated, or non-compliant applications, application rationalization ensures better auditability, reduces risks, and enhances compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Vendor Management: Application rationalization facilitates effective vendor management by identifying overlaps in functionality and consolidating applications, leading to improved negotiation power, reduced costs, and streamlined vendor relationships.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: During mergers and acquisitions, application rationalization enables the integration of disparate systems, harmonizing the application landscape, and eliminating redundancies, thereby reducing complexity and facilitating a smooth consolidation process.
  • Operational Process Management: Through application rationalization, organizations can identify and remove duplicate or inefficient applications, streamlining operational processes, improving productivity, and reducing maintenance and support costs.

So how can APR help your organization improve its security posture?

Application portfolio rationalization significantly enhances an organization’s security posture in the following ways:

  • Reduce the attack surface: By eliminating unused or unnecessary applications, organizations can reduce the number of potential entry points for attackers. This is because fewer applications mean fewer opportunities for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Improve compliance: APR can help organizations to ensure that they comply with industry regulations, such as those governing data privacy and security. This is because APR can help organizations identify and mitigate the risks associated with each application.
  • Strengthen security controls: APR can help organizations to strengthen their security controls by implementing appropriate security measures for each application. This can include measures such as encryption, access control and vulnerability scanning.
  • Protect sensitive data: By identifying and mitigating the risks associated with each application, APR can help organizations to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.
  • Effectively respond to security incidents: APR can help organizations to effectively respond to security incidents by providing them with a clear understanding of their application portfolio. This understanding can allow organizations to identify the applications that are most critical to their business and to prioritize their response efforts accordingly.


Application portfolio rationalization is a powerful security enabler, fortifying organizations against cyber threats and protecting sensitive data while reducing operational expenses (Opex) complexity and the total cost of ownership (TCO). By evaluating vulnerabilities, reducing the attack surface, ensuring compliance, strengthening security controls and embracing modern technologies, organizations can enhance their security posture and confidently embrace the many opportunities of the digital age.

With NSEIT’s strategic and personalized application portfolio rationalization assessment, organizations can navigate the complex digital landscape with confidence. We aim to simplify maintenance and identify applications that deliver maximum value to your organization while aligning with your business goals and objectives.

Get started with our Application Portfolio Rationalization Assessment today!
Authored by
Devesh Ranjan
Vice President – Digital Practice
NSEIT Limited
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