Application Landscape

Application Landscape

The migration to SaaS (software as a service) applications increases the complexity of managing your company’s technology footprint, or your “application landscape.” Many factors come into play, including:

  • Master and transactional data, which require flow inside and outside of your firewall
  • Reliance on third-party security and compliance controls and procedures
  • Company speed and agility that cannot tolerate long term application migrations
  • Mergers and acquisitions that add new capabilities such as channel marketing, self-service and duplicative software (for example, accounting and manufacturing)
  • New hires, who may buy an application on their credit card
  • Planned projects, which add new applications and remove others
A company’s chief information officer (CIO) and chief information security officer (CISO) are typically held accountable for all applications, managed and shadow (a software program your IT department does not support). The first step to managing your application portfolio is to understand it. 
Below we explain the three primary application categories, the implications for your CIO or CISO, the critical questions you should ask, as well as our own application landscape approach.

On-Premises Applications

On-premises software is installed and runs on your company’s computers, rather than at a remote facility. These internally managed applications fit the traditional IT support model.

  • Do you have sufficient network connectivity, storage, and disaster recovery processes?
  • When should you apply upgrades and functionality extensions that are within your control?
  • What is your total cost of ownership?
  • Does your team have the required expertise in all aspects of security and compliance?

Managed Cloud Applications

These SaaS and hosted applications require your CIO to partner with and be dependent upon multiple third parties.

  • Where is infrastructure housed (e.g. AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, etc.)?
  • How are routine maintenance patches reviewed, tested, and incorporated?
  • Do you understand user license costs in context of the actual users, planned users, and annual increase?
  • How are single sign-on and data storage policies controlled in a multi-tenant environment?
  • Are the contract clauses appropriate for cloud complexities?
  • Who (business or IT) within your organization manages the software within the context of the governance model?
  • Does the current solution provide the capabilities required (don’t purchase based on vision)?

Shadow SaaS Applications

Shining a spotlight on Shadow SaaS applications purchased by your employees requires the trust by both business and IT personnel.

  • Have you taken an inventory through the business experts?
  • Have you documented critical attributes (e.g. owners, security, functionality, etc.) for each application?
  • Can you negotiate user license costs in context of the actual and planned users?
  • Do you understand data integrations (manual vs automated, master data vs transactional data)?
  • Are the proper governance and compliance, including privacy (aka, GDPR, CCPA), SOC/HIPPA compliance and security elements embedded within the solution?

Clear iQ’s Application Landscape Approach

Clear iQ cuts across the entire business organization to uncover all applications in use, allowing them to be governed appropriately. To do this, we:

  • Establish credibility and trust with your business and IT organizations
  • Leverage business resources to build an inventory and integration picture, with IT resources confirming the results
  • Review the current state of each application
  • Identify stabilization and improvement options
  • Define risk mitigation strategies
  • Leave an application landscape framework the company can update as business events dictate

Contact Us to discuss your application landscape.

Clear iQ had the creative vision and strategic mindset at a level that I haven’t seen before.
They don’t fall into the typical consultant mode where they’d present, hand-off, and run away, leaving the client team with people who might not know how to deploy.
We couldn’t have selected a better vendor, lifelong business partner, mentor, and coach.
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