4.1. INTRODUCTION

Overview

The effectiveness and efficiency of IT portfolio management is dependent on the foundational processes (input, work activities, and outputs) from the phases of the IT life cycle. This chapter provides an overview of the IT life cycle, the IT phases, and the critical integration points with the IT subportfolios.

There are three phases to the IT life cycle: the discovery phase, the project phase, and the asset phase. These were introduced in Chapter 1 and are discussed in greater detail in this chapter. Accompanying these phases are three subportfolios that individually map into each one of these phases. These subportfolios comprise the entire IT portfolio.

  • The IT discovery portfolio (i.e., opportunities, ideas, and concepts) is comprised of potential growth and transformative IT investments such as emerging technologies, new business and geographic expansion opportunities, mergers and acquisitions, and so on. Discussions regarding the IT discovery portfolio are focused on areas that pertain to innovative and emerging IT investments.

  • The IT project portfolio (i.e., potential and funded projects) serves to expand, replace, or fix IT solutions.

  • The IT asset portfolio (i.e., assets at work) functions to replace, reposition, maintain, or redevelop existing IT systems and solutions. The IT asset portfolio is also comprised of infrastructure and applications, human capital, information and data, and processes. The focus in this section of the chapter is primarily ...

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