For a very long time, application management has been the red-haired stepchild of the IT services world. Taken for granted, it has silently done its job without complaint, and essentially remained an IT function, far removed from the hurly burly of what business needs.
However, as the industry evolves to answer increasing business demands, the pressure is on service providers to transform the application management function. The application management system of the future needs to address three key issues faced by CIOs.
Productivity: Most large enterprises have exhausted the offshoring potential of application management. The focus has shifted to non-linear cost saving models.
The application management model of the future must offer industry standard toolsets and automated processes, and identify deviations from coding best practices to enable continuous improvement. It must do so over an industrialized global delivery platform.
Business IT alignment: Over the years, large enterprises have tended to accumulate heavy sediments of legacy applications that bloat the portfolio and eat up valuable budgets. The application portfolio now faces ruthless rightsizing, and IT needs to provide full visibility on where business is spending its IT budget.
The application management function needs to provide usage and billing visibility at multiple levels of aggregation 24/7, on a real-time basis, on desktops and mobile devices.
- Future readiness: The world is going SaaS in front of our eyes. Application management needs to support this fundamental industry change.The modern application management function not only needs to straddle legacy and SaaS application architectures, but also offer a proactive roadmap to application modernization.
Unfortunately, many enterprises are still missing most of these elements. Contrary to popular opinion, the highest level of application management sophistication is not achieved by offering increased offshoring. Nor is it achieved by migrating from staff augmentation to managed service models.
Application management, just like poor Cinderella, is tired. Is there a Fairy Godmother who can ease its burden and get it the support it needs?
Photo credit: Dayna Bateman