The World Bank Group Delivers Increased Business Value with Application Portfolio Management

About the World Bank Group

Founded in 1944 as a single institution, the World Bank has since expanded into a group of five development institutions made up of 189 member countries with an overarching mission: end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity worldwide. The World Bank Group is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. In 2015, it committed $60B in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to partner countries and private businesses.

Challenge: Align the Application Portfolio to Business Needs

The World Bank Group’s IT department manages approximately 29,000 computers globally, more than 5,000 servers, and 35 million documents in repositories. With so many assets to manage, the World Bank lacked a single, full list of all applications, much less a dedicated application portfolio management (APM) process. The organization was unable to answer the basic questions of whether its infrastructure was aligned to the business and if all of the components within the infrastructure were bringing value to the organization.

Without an enterprise view of its infrastructure, it had no way to manage its assets. Business leaders could not make informed decisions about which applications were a justifiable investment, which needed to be upgraded or retired, and how they could be better maintained. “We have nearly 500 core applications and close to 600 software products supporting those core apps,” says Mazen Abduljabbar, senior enterprise architect at the World Bank Group. “We collected and maintained our application inventory manually but didn’t have a reliable repository to store the information and make it accessible to others outside of our department.”

Analyzing the impact of adding an application to the portfolio or enhancing an existing one was also done manually and was arduous. “We realized that accurate impact analysis is critical for management and key decision holders to have the ability to make better decisions in identifying opportunities and innovation while also reducing risk within the portfolio.” The World Bank needed to eliminate the manual effort in collecting and maintaining the inventory, establish one place to capture and store application information, and have the ability to conduct an accurate analysis of impact when considering adding an application to the portfolio.

Solution: A Single Source for Integrated Enterprise Application Management

With automation top of mind, Abduljabbar and his team looked for a single solution to transform its APM process and implemented Planview’s solution for capability and technology management. “The solution eliminates all of our manual efforts in collecting and maintaining application inventory with one place to capture, store and maintain application information,” he says. “We use capability and technology management to establish lineages from the business architecture layer to the application and infrastructure that supports it.”

The World Bank Group focused on its application portfolio first; capturing and loading their core data, lineage information, and the review information completed by the architecture practice team into the solution. This data includes everything IT knew about each application, such as the capabilities they support, the technology that uses them, and their interfaces with other applications. They then performed an impact analysis and captured business and IT capabilities. The end result is an automated lineage report that highlights the value of each application in the portfolio.

“Capability and technology management has become the system of record for the World Bank,” says Abduljabbar. “We have so much confidence in the data within the solution, we integrated it with other key applications for performance monitoring. We also use the solution data for our annual investment planning process and for IT and business capabilities review. We have peace of mind that our repository and IT governance information is always current and correct.”

Beyond data integrity, the automation has saved the World Bank significant time. The architecture review process used to take Abduljabbar’s team a minimum of eight weeks to complete. With the automation of the solution doing the heavy lifting for them, they can generate a lineage report or a line of sight report within seconds.

As capability and technology management was deployed, it instantly brought accountability to the application documentation process. “The business lines are now motivated to ensure their application information is up to date because they know we show a compliance report to their directors and senior management,” says Abduljabbar. “Because people are keeping their data current, there is more trust in the repository content.”

This trust has spilled over into every decision that business leaders are involved in. During the governance process, for instance, requests for apps are no longer green-lighted without first being vetted towards strategic alignment. With Planview’s solution for capability and technology management, introducing new applications into the portfolio establishes the answers to questions such as “What business or IT capability will this support? Does this application help us do something better to gain a competitive advantage?” This capability helps simplify decisions and ensures investments are bringing value to the World Bank.

Results: One Repository and the Answers to Key Questions that Deliver Value

Since implementing Planview’s solution for capability and technology management, the World Bank has:

  • Better application alignment with the business and IT that improves annual planning, leading to confidence in the right investments
  • Accurate automated report generation capabilities, reducing manual process from 8 weeks down to seconds
  • A single, trusted repository of detailed application data that is accessible to stakeholders, arming leaders with information to make the best decisions

To learn more about what Planview® solutions can do for your organization, visit Planview.com.