Business can now obtain a dashboard-style view of an application portfolio, showing application costs, complexity and value.

MicroFocus has launched Enterprise View which provides a status display of application software across an enterprise, for example mainframe COBOL programmes, batch scripts, sub-programmes, Windows and Unix server software.

The company said that each piece of software could be treated like a physical asset and its cost of operation, complexity, error rate, and value to the business displayed.

MicroFocus claims that, up until now, business has had no such detailed view of software asset cost and value. It means that software asset worth can be measured and decisions better made about re-writing application software, out-sourcing it, modernising it, or replacing it with packaged product, the company said.

MicroFocus CEO Stephen Kelly said Enterprise View and other MicroFocus products would help business understand the worth of their software assets, especially legacy software, and help turn 'old into gold.'

The value of the software asset was down to people's subjective judgement whereas cost and complexity (lines of code, no of modules, etc) could be quantified. There could be a linkage from support desks so that real time and historical trending information was available.

Business People in lines of business are asked to score how valuable software items are to them. It is subjective but, the MicroFocus people say, at least it's a real measure by users that is a big step forward. It is much better than the IT department's intuition.

MicroFocus positions Enterprise View as part of its Application Portfolio Management (APM) offering. HSBC's mainland Europe IT Head, Andy Givens, said: "Implementing APM as a disciplined process, we aim to reduce our IT costs by 10 percent per annum."

Gartner thinks organisations need to implement an application portfolio product to understand the value, cost and risk of their situation. This should drive any application portfolio decisions.