Windows 7 / Getting Started

Rationalizing an Application Inventory

After you have finished organizing and analyzing your data, Microsoft recommends that you create an application portfolio for your organization. The application portfolio is a list of all the applications in your organization, including their specific details and compatibility status.

To create an application portfolio, perform the following steps:

  1. Collect your application inventory and compatibility data by using the ACT.
  2. Organize your data based on your organization's requirements and then analyze the information.
  3. Identify any applications that are missing from the inventory.
  4. Select specific versions of your inventoried applications to be included in your deployment.

Identifying the Missing Applications

You must identify any applications that were not located during the automated inventory collection process. These applications might be located on portable computers or high-security systems that cannot be accessed for inventory. In these situations, you must document the application manually.

To identify missing applications, perform the following steps:

  1. Distribute the application portfolio in your organization; specifically, distribute it to those who have knowledge of the required applications currently in use.
  2. Request that the group specified in step 1 review the portfolio for errors.
  3. Review the feedback provided from step 2 to analyze the errors in the existing portfolio.
  4. Make the appropriate changes to the portfolio based on the review.
  5. Publish the revised application portfolio and obtain stakeholder approval of the list and application compatibility status.

Selecting Specific Application Versions

To help reduce the long-term total cost of ownership (TCO), you must reduce the number of supported applications in your organization. For each supported application, you must allocate time, training, tools, and resources to plan, deploy, and support the application. Standardizing your list of supported applications can help to reduce the amount of effort required to support your deployed computer configurations.

If you determine that multiple applications are performing the same task in your organization, Microsoft recommends that you select a single application and include it in your standard portfolio, with an emphasis on the following criteria:

  • The application is part of a suite of applications. Applications that are part of a suite (for example, Microsoft Office Word 2007) are more difficult to eliminate from your portfolio because you typically must eliminate the entire suite.
  • The vendor supports the application on the new operating system. Identifying support options early can reduce your costs later.
  • The application adheres to the Designed for Windows logo program. Applications that display the current compatibility logo have met stringent guidelines for compatibility with the current version of Windows.
  • The application provides an .msi package for deployment. If the application provides an .msi package, you will spend less time preparing the application for deployment.
  • The application is AD DS-aware. You can manage AD DS-aware applications through Group Policy.
  • The application is the latest version available in your inventory. Deploying a later version helps ensure the long-term support of the application because of obsolescence policies.
  • The application provides multilingual support. Multilingual support within the application, when coupled with multilingual support in the operating system (such as the multilingual support in Windows 7), enables your organization to eliminate localized versions of the application.
  • The application provides a greater number of features. Applications that support a greater number of features are more likely to address the business needs of a larger number of your users.

To select the appropriate version of an application, perform the following steps:

  1. Identify the latest version of the application currently installed in your organization.
  2. Determine whether a later version of the application is currently available. If so, Microsoft recommends that you include the later version of the application in your analysis.
  3. Verify that you have vendor support for each version of the application.
  4. Identify the license availability and cost for each application and version.
  5. From all the versions available, select one version that is supported on all your client computers.
  6. Validate the selected version in your test environment, verifying that it is compatible with your new operating system, Windows update, or Internet Explorer version.
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