Application Portfolio Management: Here applications are put through their paces

Hardly any other area at ALDI SOUTH IT is currently undergoing as much change as the application landscape. New things come, old things go – or are checked for options of further use.

Change and progress are most easily achieved with a light load. Applications that are not conducive to ALDI SOUTH business processes or for which potential is not fully exploited only slow down this change. On the other hand, existing applications must also be supplied with data in new IT structures and offer basic functionalities for essential business requirements.

In order to create a lean and efficient application landscape for the future, ALDI SOUTH IT relies on Application Portfolio Management (APM). The process enables the necessary transparency for new application landscapes and is a prerequisite for digital change.

Architecture & Integration: The efficiency makers

APM is a joint task at ALDI SOUTH. The process involves both business and IT input – in some cases several hundred employees work to ensure the efficiency in ALDI SOUTH's application landscape and drive the process forward by holding APM workshops in each of the different countries.

The Architecture & Integration team within ALDI SOUTH IT is responsible for coordinating the company's global activities. The team’s goal is to create a complete overview of the future national application landscapes and to determine implications for the solutions used in the individual countries so far. 

Flexibility and tact are required

The APM goal of creating consistent business and IT target landscapes across all countries is clear – but the overall project landscape is evolving. Due to new project initiatives that depend on APM, as well as changes to milestone dates, APM planning often has to adapt to new conditions. 

APM assesses the future relevance of each country’s application landscape. Today's application owners and users are faced with many questions: Will my application still be needed in the future? What alternatives are there? Besides flexibility, empathy is also required according to Armin, IT engineer in the Architecture & Integration team: “Change management is not directly part of APM. Nevertheless, we still need to address any reservations that we encounter within the scope of APM. After all, a lot of dedication and commitment goes into existing solutions, some of which have been developed over many years. That's why tact is required during discussions.”

LeanIX – central repository for applications

Both the initial APM analyses and the later continuous APM process also require planning and coordination skills from Armin and his colleagues. This means that many stakeholders worldwide must be trained and coordinated. It is also essential to share information with national architects, who also play a key role in shaping the APM process. It is therefore helpful to possess expert knowledge of the special features of each of the national IT landscapes. This is because, until now, each country has set its own business priorities and pursued different technical approaches, which is reflected in the maturity of the tool landscape.

In order for APM to succeed, the colleagues in the Architecture & Integration team mainly rely on LeanIX. This software serves as a central repository for the application landscape. This is where all APM-relevant information is stored, such as interfaces, data and business functionalities. This in turn ensures that the application landscape is documented in a central location and that the APM results are visible to everyone. 

APM: Foundation for the digital future

APM lays the foundation for the digital transformation in each of the ALDI SOUTH countries: It creates a coordinated and sustainable vision of the future landscapes, both national and international, with a view to IT and business applications. This creates a consistent target picture, which simultaneously defines new requirements for applications and national specifics, and is transformed into an organic process. 

The results of the APM process form the basis for international and national projects that drive the transition to ALDI SOUTH’s new system landscape. These all require the APM results in order for their rollouts and data migrations to be transparently coordinated. This is not only relevant from an IT point of view: digital change has a major impact on all process and business areas at ALDI SOUTH. 

Challenge for curious minds and networkers

APM initiates mutual learning about national characteristics and promotes networking. “There is hardly a single process in the company that brings together this many different people across national borders. The contacts made are also helpful for new topics beyond APM,” – one of the real advantages of APM, according to Armin.

Groundbreaking, exciting and networking-intensive – that is what APM is all about. Are you motivated to make the application landscapes at ALDI SOUTH fit for change while getting to know the IT specifics of different countries worldwide? Then apply now!

Apply nowE