Application Management Services (AMS)
What are Application Management Services (AMS)?
Application Management Services (AMS) are services provided by third-party providers to help businesses manage their applications. The goal is to optimize, maintain and monitor software systems to ensure they are running efficiently and remain secure. AMS covers the entire process from assessment and installation to configuration and testing, regardless of whether the applications are cloud-based or on-premise. This allows companies to free up their internal resources and focus on their core operations. By having an AMS provider, businesses can ensure that their applications are kept up-to-date and the most critical updates are addressed quickly and effectively.
Types of Application Management Services
- Managed services: Managed Services (AMS) is a type of outsourcing that enables businesses to delegate the responsibility of providing ongoing support for their applications to a specialized external provider. Managed Services provide a range of benefits, including improved internal efficiency, increased user satisfaction, and freeing up internal IT teams to focus on new projects or improvements. Managed Services can help protect businesses from costly downtime and disruption due to bugs or other issues. It also helps simplify and streamline the maintenance and monitoring of applications, providing a more efficient and cost-effective way to keep your applications running at optimal levels. Additionally, managed services can provide access to specialized expertise and vendor management, helping to ensure that applications are properly implemented and updated with the latest features. Overall, managed services can be a great way for businesses to ensure their applications are well-maintained, secure, and up-to-date. By taking advantage of the specialized expertise available from managed services providers, businesses can minimize the risk and impact of disruptions, reduce costs, and free up internal resources to focus on innovation and new projects.
- Application management: Application management is the process of maintaining, enhancing, and managing custom applications, packaged software applications, or network-delivered applications. It provides services, processes, or methodologies to keep technology applications running smoothly. Proactive application management optimizes the infrastructure supporting modern applications and helps to ensure that an organization’s applications are helping to achieve its objectives. It also helps to identify potential areas for improvement and adds new functionalities that drive a competitive edge. Examples of application management include running maintenance, enhancing applications, identifying bugs, analyzing requests, logs, and resource utilization, and optimizing the infrastructure supporting applications. Additionally, application management helps to reduce the risk of downtime and improve overall business continuity. It can provide an enhanced end-user experience, which increases productivity and accelerates the adoption of new applications or features. It can also reduce the need to retain expensive outside consultants and lower overall operating costs. Finally, application management includes anticipating and preparing for new software releases and providing actionable insights. Application management is a comprehensive approach to managing applications over time. This includes developing, modifying, maintaining, and optimizing applications to best suit an organization's current and future needs. It also includes ensuring the security and compliance of the application, as well as troubleshooting and resolving any issues that might occur. Application management is important for ensuring applications remain relevant and up-to-date, as well as for maximizing operational efficiency and effectiveness.
- Application development: Application management services offer a wide range of application development services including:
- Application Migration: This service involves migrating existing applications to new environments, such as cloud computing platforms or mobile devices.
- Application Modernization: This service involves updating existing applications to the latest version by introducing new features, improving performance, and ensuring compliance.
- Application Monitoring: This service involves monitoring applications to detect and respond to problems quickly and efficiently.
- Application Virtualization: This service involves running applications on virtual machines so that they can be used on multiple platforms.
- Application Optimization: This service involves improving application performance and scalability through refactoring and restructuring as well as introducing automation and integrations.
- Bug fixes: Application management services provide bug fixes for specific misbehaviors, slow request handling, runtime errors, component unavailability, and poor data quality. These bug fixes can range from minor changes and updates to more significant modifications to the application. Additionally, application management services can assist with the release of updated application versions.
- Applications optimization: Application optimization is a process of making modifications or improvements to an existing application to enhance or optimize its performance. This process includes identifying areas of the application that can be improved, such as reducing the number of resources required to run the application, increasing the application's speed or scalability, and improving the security of the application. It also involves making changes to the application's architecture and code to make the application more efficient and reliable. Application optimization is different from application management services in that it is focused on making improvements to an application's design and performance, rather than managing the application's lifecycle. Application management involves a range of tasks such as monitoring, updating, and troubleshooting applications to ensure they are running smoothly and efficiently. Application optimization is more focused on making changes to the application itself, such as refactoring the code or changing the application's architecture, to make it more efficient and reliable.
- Cloud services: Application management services typically provide a range of cloud services, such as deployment, backups, security, assigning roles and responsibilities, auto-scaling, monitoring, app governance, multi-cloud strategies, and more. Additionally, they can provide services for building and operating cloud-native apps, connecting and securing apps and clouds, running enterprise apps anywhere, automating and optimizing apps and clouds, and enabling secure access to apps from any device.
- Application migration: Application migration is the process of moving applications from one system to another, usually from on-premises to a cloud environment. This can include moving applications between different versions of the same application, or between different vendors' applications. This process is usually done to increase the scalability, flexibility, and efficiency of the application, or to make the application more accessible to a wider audience.
- Monitoring: Monitoring services are an essential component of application management. They provide constant monitoring and oversight of applications to ensure that they are performing optimally and any issues are addressed in a timely manner. It also helps to identify potential areas of improvement and address them before they become a problem. Monitoring services allow businesses to be proactive when it comes to their application management needs. They can detect any downtimes or other issues early on, so they can be addressed quickly and efficiently. Additionally, monitoring services allow businesses to spot trends in usage and performance, allowing them to make better decisions when it comes to their applications. All of these benefits help businesses achieve their application management goals and objectives.
- Troubleshooting: Application management troubleshooting is a service offered by companies to help identify and resolve problems with technology applications. It includes processes, methodologies, and services to keep technology applications running smoothly, such as running maintenance, enhancing applications, and identifying bugs. The help desk is typically a multi-language 24/7 team with appropriate technical expertise. They prioritize and categorize incidents reported by users, provide immediate solutions to general or repeatable issues, and escalate more complex cases to technical experts. Additionally, they inform users of the status of their requests and provide a knowledge base and FAQ section for self-help. Troubleshooting with application management helps increase the stability, maintainability, and performance of the software or database environment.
- Project management: Application management services offer a wide range of project management services to help businesses manage their applications more effectively. These services include system administration, software performance management, business transaction management, integrated business planning, application performance management, network management, and systems management. By implementing these services, businesses can better control their software portfolio and ensure that their applications are up-to-date and meet the needs of the ever-changing business environment. Additionally, businesses can benefit from recommendations based on specific business needs to help add new features that make a big difference moving forward. This helps businesses stay agile and competitive while avoiding potential problems before they become noticeable.
- Team expertise: When it comes to application management services (AMS), you have access to a wide range of team expertise. Organizations can choose from expert insights and strategies provided by AMS providers, or a more traditional in-house approach. In-house teams typically rely on their own technical skills and knowledge, but they might lack the necessary experience or expertise to deal with new technologies or any issues that arise. Training and hiring new staff can quickly become quite costly. On the other hand, partnering with an AMS provider gives businesses access to specialist knowledge and expertise. These partners have sharp technology skills and advanced platform knowledge, as well as the flexibility to customize service packages to meet the company’s needs. Additionally, AMS providers are certified under ISO 9001 and ISO 27001, meaning they have a quality-first approach and security management systems in place. When making a decision between AMS providers and in-house teams, organizations should consider the cost efficiency, stability, and productivity that can be achieved with the help of an experienced AMS partner. With a partner, businesses benefit from reduced maintenance costs, enhanced application performance, and a more stable platform with minimized risk of downtime. Furthermore, employees can enjoy a better user experience and increased productivity with evergreen and healthy applications.
- Database management: Database management services can be grouped into several categories, including back-end programming languages, front-end programming languages, mobile, clouds, platforms, relational databases/data storages, big data, DevOps, and the ability to deliver, secure, and manage any application. These services provide processes, methodologies, and services to keep technology applications running smoothly and help businesses achieve their objectives. Additionally, application management services can provide recommendations for improving software and database performance, as well as security and maintenance services.
- Hardware maintenance: Hardware maintenance services that are available range from ensuring uptime and security through system monitoring and bug fixes, to developing and testing updates and new features. Additionally, partners can provide assistance with hardware replacements, repairs, installations, and configurations. These services are tailored to specific requirements and optimally suited to the operational environment and the type of applications used.
- Virtualization: Virtualization application management services are services that facilitate the deployment, maintenance, and security of applications in a virtualized environment. These services enable organizations to make their applications available to users, securely and reliably, from any location. This is made possible by leveraging highly available infrastructure with built-in redundancies, which helps to minimize downtime. Furthermore, these services involve deploying, monitoring, and managing applications in the cloud, assigning roles and responsibilities and optimizing performance. Finally, such services also involve providing secure access to enterprise applications from any device, enabling employees to work from anywhere with frictionless experiences.
How Application Management Services Works
Application Management Services (AMS) provide support in navigating and maintaining today’s increasingly complex applications. Here is a step-by-step guide on how they work:
- Understand Your Application Needs: Before you can start using AMS, you need to understand your application needs. This includes understanding the functionality, scope, and maintenance requirements of the application.
- Choose the Right Service Provider: Once you have an understanding of your application’s needs, you can start the process of choosing the right service provider. Look for a provider with experience in the technologies and frameworks used by your application.
- Develop a Service Level Agreement: After you have chosen a provider, the next step is to develop a Service Level Agreement (SLA). The SLA outlines the terms and conditions of the service, such as the provider’s availability, response time, and payment terms.
- Implement the Solution: After the SLA is in place, the AMS provider will begin implementing the solution. This includes everything from the installation of the application to the configuration and maintenance of the system.
- Monitor and Maintain the System: Finally, it is important to monitor and maintain the system. This includes keeping up with the latest updates and security patches, as well as performing regular maintenance tasks. This helps keep the system running smoothly and securely.
How AMS helps with Data Solutions and IT infrastructure
AMS providers can help with data solutions and IT infrastructure in numerous ways. They can monitor, manage, and maintain data solutions, such as cloud applications, software upgrades, and alert management. Additionally, they can help with the installation and configuration of IT systems, diagnose and resolve hardware and software faults, and perform software maintenance, such as functional and technical updates. This helps keep the company's applications running optimally, preventing costly downtimes and losses.
AMS providers also provide a single point-of-contact service desk that is available 24/7 to resolve any application-related requests or incidents. Additionally, problem management services are available to reduce the number of incidents through root-cause analysis. Finally, transition management services are available to ensure minimal impact on the team's productivity and efficiency during changes.
AMS Providers and Business Innovation
The role of an AMS provider in improving business innovation is to provide organizations with the necessary tools, technology, and expertise to be proactive in their approach to technological advancements. By providing organizations with an extra layer of support and expertise, AMS providers can help organizations stay ahead of the competition and stay abreast of the latest trends in software and hardware. They can do this by providing assistance and guidance throughout the innovation process, including the implementation of new technologies, the development of custom applications, and the testing and monitoring of existing systems. Additionally, AMS providers can also help organizations ensure that their applications are secure, reliable, and easy to use. By enhancing the level of support and expertise that businesses have access to, an AMS provider can help organizations maintain their competitive edge and ensure that their applications are up-to-date and delivering the best possible user experience.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing AMS
Outsourcing Application Management Services (AMS) has both pros and cons depending on a variety of factors such as business size, the complexity of systems, and the number of applications needing support. On the one hand, AMS can be a cost-effective way to improve efficiency as there are often lower prices and better customer service than in-house hires and internal IT departments. AMS providers can also save money on hard costs such as computers, software licenses, upgrades, and networking equipment. Additionally, they bring specialist expertise and knowledge to the table which may not be available in-house. On the other hand, it may take an AMS partner some time to get to know your business, as opposed to an in-house team, and you may need to find a new AMS partner if your current one can’t meet your needs. Ultimately, it depends on what resources are available in-house and their capabilities for handling application management
Benefits of Application Management Services
- Improved Efficiency and Productivity: Application management services improve efficiency and productivity by enabling employees to work from anywhere with secure, frictionless experiences, allowing access to specialist knowledge and expertise without the need for recruitment, and handling the day-to-day tasks associated with application management. By doing this, companies can reduce their total cost of ownership, enjoy prompt updates versus application stability, and tap into their application's hidden potential. This also reduces the risk of downtime and improves overall business continuity, while providing users with an enhanced experience that increases productivity and accelerates the adoption of new applications or features. In addition, with the IT resources being released from mundane tasks, the team is able to focus on innovation and growth, thus increasing revenue and reducing costs.
- Increased Reliability and Quality of Systems: Application management services (AMS) help to increase the reliability and quality of systems by providing 24/7 support, reducing maintenance costs, enhancing application performance, minimizing the risk of downtime, and making applications more stable. Additionally, AMS providers also offer flexible service packages that can be easily modified to suit customer needs and provide specialist knowledge and expertise that may not be available in-house. This ensures that customer applications are evergreen and healthy, resulting in improved user experience and increased productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, the introduction of DevOps/Continuous Delivery practices, containerization, and other modern practices allow for streamlined and painless ongoing application changes, allowing businesses to focus on other matters such as marketing or operations.
- Decreased Downtime and Interruptions: Application management services help to decrease downtime and interruptions by proactively monitoring and diagnosing any existing or potential slowdowns and failures, providing 24/7 support to quickly resolve any issues, and ensuring optimal availability and performance of applications. With application management services, businesses can be assured that any downtime is minimal since help is available around the clock. In addition, application management services also help to provide consistent application availability and performance, regardless of the time of day or remote employee schedules. This ensures that businesses can maintain a high level of user experience and service, thus minimizing the chances of downtime and interruptions.
- Improved Security and Safety: Application management services can help improve security and safety by providing proactive monitoring and rapid scanning of apps for potential security threats. It also allows organizations to quickly address any issues before they become major incidents. With a quality-first approach, organizations can ensure that the applications they use are constantly evolving in step with the latest trends, while ISO 27001-certified security management provides comprehensive policies and processes, advanced security technology, and skilled professionals. This ensures that users remain safe from the latest cyber threats, allowing them to work from anywhere with secure, frictionless experiences.
- Increased Efficiency of Investments: Application management services help to increase the efficiency of investments by reducing maintenance costs, improving application performance, and boosting productivity and efficiency. Through proactive maintenance, monitoring, and updates, IT resources are freed up, allowing employees to focus on their tasks and come up with new ideas. Furthermore, application management services can help to uncover the potential of existing applications, leading to the optimization of business processes and the automation of manual tasks. By employing modern practices such as DevOps/Continuous Delivery, containerization, and application re-architecting, migration, and upgrade, the risk of downtime is minimized and the total cost of ownership is reduced, thereby helping to make investments more efficient.
- Increased Business Innovation: Application management services can help businesses innovate by providing them with the necessary tools, technology, and expertise to manage their applications properly. By ensuring that all business processes are addressed with modern applications, businesses can bring new solutions to market more efficiently and quickly while reducing costs. Additionally, effective application management practices can reduce the risk of downtime and improve business continuity. With proactive maintenance, monitoring, and updates, IT resources are freed up to focus on new initiatives, while the attention to user experience sparks new ideas by making it easier for users to interact with business applications. Furthermore, by regularly incorporating new capabilities and monitoring user issues, application management services can provide an enhanced end-user experience which can both increase productivity and accelerate the adoption of new applications and features. All these factors can contribute to a business's bottom line by providing substantial cost savings, improved productivity, and increased revenue.
- Increased Customer Satisfaction: Application Management Services (AMS) help increase customer satisfaction by providing dedicated, experienced, and proactive teams to maintain a high quality of service. AMS teams are quick to respond to customer needs and provide tiered support options tailored to their budget and needs. AMS teams also offer multiple channel interactions, such as web forms, email, phone, and virtual meetings, that provide customers with a more interactive and convenient experience. Additionally, AMS teams provide proactive customer success management to address escalations and questions while assisting with road mapping and strategizing new functionalities. This high quality of service leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in a 92% customer satisfaction rate.
- Increased Scalability: Application management services enable businesses to scale their operations by providing access to specialist knowledge and expertise. This helps to ensure a streamlined and efficient process for deploying, securing, and managing any application, as well as reducing maintenance costs and minimizing the risk of downtime. Additionally, by taking on the day-to-day tasks associated with application management, businesses are able to free up their internal IT and application development teams to focus on new innovations that can help to grow their business. This scalability is further enhanced as applications become more stable and have better user experience, leading to improved employee productivity and greater efficiency.
- Increased Efficiency of IT Resources: Application management services can help to increase the efficiency of IT resources by providing access to specialist knowledge and expertise that may not be available in-house, freeing up time spent in meetings to focus on innovation and growth, reducing maintenance costs, improving application performance and user experience, minimizing the risk of downtime, and unlocking untapped potential. Proactive maintenance, monitoring, and updates ensure that business functions are properly addressed with modern applications, while the addition of new features and capabilities can help spark new ideas. By optimizing applications and introducing continuous delivery pipelines, the need for prompt updates can be balanced with application stability. Ultimately, application management can help to ensure that the most optimal solutions are being used, maximizing productivity and efficiency.
- Increased Cost Savings: Application management services can help to increase cost savings by reducing the need for new in-house employees and associated payroll taxes, benefits, and training. They can also reduce hard costs such as computers, software licenses, upgrades, and networking equipment. AMS providers can help keep systems running efficiently and cost-effectively, allowing for greater cost savings. Furthermore, application optimization services can help to reveal the hidden potential of applications and unlock value, making them, even more, cost-effective. All of these factors combined result in increased cost savings for the company.
Challenges of Application Management Services
AMS would be a lot easier if the transition to “operate” could be a non-event, seamless flow of knowledge and talent from one phase to another, with no balls dropped and no handoff costs incurred. But that’s not how it works. There are real and practical challenges to manage – as you well know. Here are some of the factors that make those challenges more difficult:
- Starting without a clear end state in mind. In the frenzy of design and build, companies often fail to visualize the desired end state for their applications. Without that view in mind, it’s impossible to plan and execute an effective transition.
- Falling behind the curve. Many organizations don’t recognize the need for AMS support until late in implementation or immediately after go-live. This creates an environment where a lean AMS team must jump into support before processes are defined and understood by everyone involved. These organizations often underestimate the importance of knowledge transfer and overestimate the quality of their processes for engaging a third party. The result? They incur the cost of keeping expensive business and implementation resources engaged for longer than necessary.
- Fuzzy processes. While there can be great value found in fuzzy math, that’s not the case with fuzzy processes, especially in the areas of configuration management, release management, problem management, testing approaches, and resource capacity management. An AMS operations guide may exist, but it’s likely to have such high-level information that individuals can’t get to the bottom of details like who, what, when, and how.
- Poorly collected and documented knowledge. Many organizations cut corners on the hard work of documentation and creating a well-structured knowledge repository. That hinders capabilities down the road as support teams change over time.
- Over the wall. During the time before and immediately after go-live, organizations rarely have the availability to help plan and manage the transition process. Client input is critical in rationalizing existing processes, governance, and tools – and formalizing the same for the future. Too many client teams are ready to check out too early.
- Ignoring near-term enhancement needs. Oftentimes, AMS teams are just starting to win the hearts and minds of business stakeholders when it becomes time for their first enhancement development and deployment. This opens the team and client to significant risk – and presents credibility issues at an absolutely worse time for the support team, right when they were beginning to get some traction. First enhancements should be baked into the transition plan.
Each of these challenges creates risks and costs that can be managed with the right approach. The key is clear processes and just enough continuity of resources. But even working with a single vendor doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the savings and risk mitigation you want. In many cases, transitions across different teams inside the same vendor organization bring just as many challenges as those across different vendors. The most important factor is whether your processes are designed for continuity where it matters most.