Sources of Productivity: Accenture cuts the waste from clients' IT budgets

U.S. productivity grew 8.1% in the third quarter, the Labor Department told us last week. In the short term, that's great news for company profitability, but bad news for workers. In the medium term, though, higher productivity is good for both companies and workers, because if demand starts to grow, companies will still need to hire more workers to meet that demand. But where does increased productivity come from? The second post of this three-part series focuses on another company that shows its clients how to be more efficient.

As I explained in my first installment of this series, application portfolio management (APM) is a consulting process that helps companies get more out of their information technology spending. Accenture (ACN) calls its APM process Application Portfolio Optimization and Renewal. I spoke with Adam Burden, global managing director at Accenture, who said that APOR's theme is simple: "Companies have bloated application portfolios that collect debris from years of investment."