What is Application Management?
Simply put, application management is the process of managing applications throughout their lifecycle.
Traditional application management processes guide how business applications are developed, managed, improved, and—when necessary—sunset-ed.
Application Lifecycle Phases
The typical application lifecycle—according to ITIL—has six phases:
1. Gather requirements
3. Build, integrate, test
4. Implement, deploy
In this first phase, IT works with the business units to identify the functional and business process requirements for the change or new application.
During this process, initial service level requirements will be identified and prioritized.
During design, the application team translates the requirements into a technical solution.
IT infrastructure planners typically get involved in this step, and simulation tools help them effectively assess long-term requirements. This ensures that IT infrastructure resources are available to support ongoing operations of the new application.
At this point, a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study is performed to identify development and ongoing support costs. ITIL Service Delivery components—typically service level management, capacity management, and financial management—are called on for input on the TCO.
The final results of the TCO are shared with business leaders for approval. In many cases, there’s a negotiation process. Then requirements and service levels are fine-tuned to adjust costs to the level the business can afford.
IT capacity prediction software—like Vityl Capacity Management—helps organizations make better decisions before the development process even begins. Precise cost estimates developed with this tool result in cost avoidance in many cases.
Learn more about the benefits of predicting your requirements before designing applications.
The build phase is all about actual application coding and testing processes.
All the components and flows will be developed and tested both individually and systemically to uncover any functional and process flaws. Detecting adverse impacts early in the development process helps you take appropriate actions quickly—before you rack up costs and lose productivity.
With performance monitoring software, you can gather data in real-time during testing. Changes to existing applications can be gathered and compared to previous iterations—providing a quick glance at “before” and “after.”
New applications can use data to refine their initial infrastructure requirements—and measure them against the TCO. If there are disparities, management can make more informed decisions before proceeding.
Once final quality testing has been completed, management needs to sign-off. Only then will the new functions to be introduced into the production environment.
Learn more about the benefits of using performance monitoring software in ITIL application management.
The deploy phase covers the roll-out of the new application.
The application modules are first rolled into production libraries. Then any customer training required to effectively and efficiently use the new facilities is provided.
This phase is typically straightforward, as problems are dealt with before the application is rolled out.
This process step covers the day-to-day "care and feeding" of the new application.
Typically, the operation process includes:
- Addressing changes in regulatory requirements
- Fixing flaws uncovered in the application
- Monitoring service levels (and addressing problems in missed service levels)
- Measuring and reporting on application performance
Performance management software—like Vityl Capacity Management—makes it easier to monitor and report on application performance. You can then use the data to compare performance to your service level agreements (SLAs). If there are any anomalies, business units can be notified instantly and corrective actions can be taken.
If IT teams detect any trends that will have a big impact on customers, the right software will help them speedily address the issues. This typically results in faster responses to performance and availability issues, minimizing the potential loss of productivity for customers and end users.
Ultimately, the goal is to minimize the impact of application operation issues on the business at large.
Learn more about managing application performance.
Functional and performance optimization are addressed during this final phase of the application management process.
This phase is usually comprised of three steps.
- Performance management teams analyze applications to identify any improvement opportunities.
- Capacity planners employ simulation tools to uncover future application bottlenecks well before they impact business users.
- Application teams work with customers and end users to ensure process flows continue to satisfy needs—and make adjustments where necessary.
Reduce the amount of IT infrastructure resources an application consumes. With the right tools in place, you can extend the life of your existing IT staff—and avoid costly upgrades.
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