Application management is an approach to IT governance that takes care of the maintenance, versioning and upgrading of an application throughout its lifecycle. It signals when an application or the server it’s hosted on is faulty, with the primary aim to prevent disruption to productivity.
There are essentially three main stakeholders who benefit from application management: the application owner, the IT technician responsible for maintaining the system and the end user. But how exactly do these three parties see their workload reduced?
Consolidated Business Processes
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is basically a software system designed to support and facilitate information flow between the main business processes of a company. So, business-critical functions, such as cash-flow, order-processing, raw material stocks and production capacity, can be consolidated into one system.
With this kind of infrastructure in place, all areas of the business can benefit from feeding from the same data source, which will both streamline processes and drastically reduce the instance of human error or misinformation.
Productivity and Revenue
From a financial perspective, a managed application offers huge benefits in terms of increasing efficiency and productivity and therefore cost effectiveness.
Application management is essentially an on-demand delivery service that has the expertise to foresee and avoid disruptions to service, resulting in less down-time and improved efficiency. The service will also include managed system upgrades, allowing businesses to improve productivity seamlessly.
In addition, because the application is managed by a dedicated team of qualified technicians, a certain level of uptime can be guaranteed, with support on-hand round the clock.
Freedom to Focus on Innovation
Traditionally, applications would be managed by the owner or business. Quite often, this has meant that a dedicated IT support department would be employed to take responsibility for development, deployment and maintenance.
When an application is managed, the day-to-day management and issues involved in supporting the application, including functional, technical and developmental support, are all included. But rather than mean IT departments will be left without a job, instead it frees them up to concentrate on innovation and improvement.
Moving applications to the cloud is a daunting prospect for any enterprise. Security threats to applications can cause downtime, data loss, and hinder employee productivity, and when an application is managed by an external body there’s always a perceived lack of control to contend with.
The advantage of a managed application is that it is looked after by a team of professional technicians, who are skilled in identifying and preventing data loss through theft.
Offerings differ between providers, but as a rule, a managed security provider should be able to address and manage concerns such as:
- Prevention of data loss,
- Secure remote access,
- Penetration and vulnerability testing,
- Firewall & threat management, and;
- Data encryption.
At the end of the day, whether or not to use an application management solution should be a considered decision made on a case-by-case basis; there are a number of distinct advantages that can relieve the pressures of IT management on businesses.
This post was written by Ali Raza on behalf of Interoute – one of the UK’s premier providers of Application Managed Services, Managed Cloud Services and Infrastructure Solutions for Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors.