Application management is a mission-critical part of your IT operations. If handled well, it can also be a powerful performance lever for your business. Especially now that cloud computing allows you to finally break away from the operational limitations the traditional approach to application management has imposed for so long.
The IT landscape, by its very nature, is subject to constant change. Within that ever-changing environment, though, application management seems to have been the one exception to the rule. Until now, that is.
Slow but safe.
Indeed, and strangely enough, the way most companies go about managing their applications has changed fairly little over the past twenty years. At the end of the day, application management still very much boils down to managing and monitoring not just the applications themselves but also, and more importantly, their underlying infrastructure in the data centre. The result is a rather slow and rigid management process that does little to improve the performance, let alone the agility of your business. But with a single, simple bug being able to interrupt or even block an entire production process, companies could be forgiven for playing it safe.
In recent years, however, the need to transform and reinvent the existing approach to application management has become rather urgent, if not acute. That sudden mindshift is largely due to the advent of a new operating paradigm in the form of cloud computing. Although other emerging technology trends with transformational impact, such as digitalisation and artificial intelligence, also play an important part in the process.
As applications venture out from their traditional data centre environments and move to the cloud, it stands to reason that they will behave differently. Consequently, with the introduction of that new kind of IT infrastructure also came a switch in application management priorities: from infrastructure-centred management (how well the underlying infrastructure is performing) to application-centric management (how well the overall application is performing). In other words: the focus is now firmly on what is happening with your applications rather than what is happening in the underlying infrastructure.
And just to reassure you: that infrastructure is still being monitored and managed today. Just not by your application team anymore, but by your cloud vendor. Thus freeing up part of your IT staff for other, less operational and more rewarding tasks that add real value to your business. And that’s not the only benefit to be gained from reinventing your application management. Next to freeing up human and financial resources and enhancing your IT’s business value, it also allows you to speed up your time-to-market, while ensuring the continuous quality and resilience of your information systems. The end result is a business that is more cost-efficient, more agile and more reliable.
… and then some
Application management is not all about the infrastructure, though. That would be rather limiting. As mentioned in my intro, it can also be a powerful performance lever for your business. If handled well, that is. Or if done smartly, as we at Sopra Steria like to put it.
Which brings me to SAM, short for Smart Application Management: our offer for reinventing your application management and, in doing so, effectively transforming your entire IT value chain. SAM does this, for instance, by improving on the agility of your information system’s performance, allowing for new ways of working while simultaneously redefining the ways you used to collaborate with your business units and partners. SAM also allows you to redefine your existing services, while letting you benefit from new innovative value-added services, augmented by digital tools, such as chatbots, video and gamification.
For application managers, the main effect and end result of the introduction of all these new digitization and automation practices and tools is more empowering than ever. Ultimately, with SAM, they get a catalogue of no less than 100 organizational, methodological and digital tooling levers at their disposal. Surely that should do the trick, no?
My colleagues at Sopra Steria can help you reinvent your application management across your entire IT value chain. To learn more about our SAM solution (Smart Application Management), including our transformation levers and accelerators, check out this web page.