Solving the Complexity Conundrum

'Reducing complexity' is a reason frequently given by organizations when instigating an application rationalization initiative.  However, complexity can be challenging to define and measure in all but subjective terms.  For many organizations embarking on rationalization, the primary focus is the reduction or elimination of complexity.  Complexity is often associated with higher costs and reduced adaptability or agility.  However, where the value of complexity to the organization is high (due to the competitive advantage or ability to maintain/defend a market position and brand equity), these may be prices worth paying.  EAs play a critical role in defining those areas where complexity can add value and what the trade-offs are.  This enables organizations to take a more rounded view of complexity in the context of application rationalization.  

Complexity to Achieve Market Differentiation
When competitors use similar IT systems, their capabilities and efficiencies in serving customers probably will be similar to yours. In effect, this makes organizations more interchangeable. To mitigate this, organizations seek an edge in terms of service differentiation, capability or cost. This consideration is particularly important in highly populated marketplaces. For example, many services organizations use quality of service or customer reputation as key tools for online sales. This means that IT capabilities and efficiencies play a major part in defining these organizations' relative market positioning.  
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