Gartner Research

Don't Waste Time on an 'Application' Definition — Start Identifying Application Boundaries Instead

Published: 14 June 2017

ID: G00325954

Analyst(s): Stefan Van Der Zijden , Bill Swanton


Application leaders struggle to define "application" when creating an initial inventory for strategy and governance — an impossible task due to changing technology. Instead, they should focus on delineating applications as "units of management" that are neither too abstract nor too granular.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges


  • Do Not Waste Time Trying to Create an Application Definition Precisely or Hierarchically
  • Focus on Business Applications and Select the Right Assessment and Governance Approach for Other Software Categories
  • Do Not Use Vendor or Software Products as a Primary Dimension to Distinguish Applications
  • Identify Applications in the Context of Application Strategy and Governance
  • Delineate Applications With a Top-Down, Business-Driven Approach
  • The Bottom Line: Find the Right Granularity
    • Application Delineation Examples

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