CIOs grappling with software bloat

IT operations around he world are using a glut of software apps, many of which are unneeded, Capgemini study concludes

More and more corporate IT departments around the world are straining under the weight of unnecessary software applications, according to a survey by systems integrator Capgemini.

Some 48% of 1,116 CIOs and senior IT executives said their companies have more applications than required to run the business, according to Capgemini. That's up from 34% in a previous survey by the systems integrator.

Only 37% said a majority of the applications their business is running are mission critical, while 70% reported that at least 20% of their applications are redundant.

"The weight of application landscapes is reaching critical mass; disruptive technologies have emerged," the report states. "It is no longer a question of 'whether' to rationalize, but rather 'when' and 'how' to do it."

The survey included respondents from 16 countries, with 73% coming from "developing economies" such as the U.S. and Europe, and the remainder in emerging markets like China and India, Capgemini said.

While respondents in developed countries have more mature application portfolios, this comes at the cost of poorer alignment between IT and business departments, Capgemini found.

Some 92% of respondents in Brazil, India and China reported their business departments had at least a satisfactory level of understanding of their company's application portfolio, compared to between 64% and 69% in Finland and Norway.

Still, CIOs around the world are planning to increase their investments in new applications, Capgemini found. Some 59% overall said they would spend either "more" or "significantly" more on applications, while some 85% of respondents in emerging markets said the same.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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