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INFOTECH: AMM – a Solution in Times Of Economic Crisis


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Application Management and Modernisation – A Solution in Times of Economic Crisis

A comprehensive IT strategy that aligns itself with specific business processes has become more important than ever, particularly if companies are to reconcile somewhat conflicting imperatives of quality, flexibility and innovation.

In this light, the development, operation and maintenance of business-centric applications are key aspects of success and cost savings. Furthermore, if applications run smoothly it will alleviate some of the headache associated with generating business value while keeping cost under control.

The reality is that today’s CIOs are acutely aware that existing solutions are difficult to expand or enhance and, as mentioned, costs remain a real issue in a challenging economic climate.

Also, it is becoming more difficult to employ and retain skilled in-house staff that have the experience and flexibility to manage new and existing applications, particularly in a country such as South Africa that already has a dire shortage of skilled ICT individuals.

The above therefore confirms the need for a strategy that allows for the effective maintenance and management of applications - without costly expenditure and staff expansion - and this is where Applications Management and Modernisation (AMM) steps to the fore.

AMM in context

AMM effectively represents the next evolution of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and is based on IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the industry standard for service management.

Practically, it offers companies access to additional resources (staff and technology) at any time. The need and subsequent risk associated with hosting all of these resources are therefore mitigated.

Moreover, AMM aligns itself closely with ITIL version 3 which, according to Gartner, more closely links best practices and business benefits. ITIL V3, for example, includes a description of the central service elements of Application Management covering incident management, problem management, change management and so forth.

AMM value proposition

With an effective AMM strategy companies can expect to achieve the following important benefits:

• Savings through industrialisation;
• Improved quality of service (QoS);
• Greater flexibility and improved availability;
• Risk mitigation;
• Access to skilled individuals;
• Greater transparency and predictability; and
• More efficient use of available resources.

At the very foundation of AMM lies the guaranteed delivery of high-quality service based on clearly defined, legally binding service level agreements (SLAs).

Indeed, it enables organisations to get a firm grip on cost challenges, and strategic imperatives such as the need to improve quality and transparency while concentrating on core processes.

In the case of savings, the marriage of standardisation and partial automation of processes lead to proven efficiency in operation, support and maintenance of applications.

AMM also offers greater flexibility and improved availability as services can be scaled up and down according to fluctuating demand. Also, flexible sourcing is generally based on strategic partnership which means your AMM partner has access to large, scalable teams on the fly.

The result is global delivery of consistent service across the entire lifecycle that can be extended to accommodate additional users, sites, services and so forth.

Thisalso echoes the South African market’s move towards outsourcing systems to third party providers that can offer the abovementioned services. Indeed, companies are opting for service providers that offer a large pool of resources and skills that can be scaled up and down as the need arises.

AMM real-life application

Key to AMM’s value is its ability to support business applications in an ideal or at least predefined state at all times, enabling core business activities to be performed at all times.

The lifecycle of an application, for example, will see it incurring various encountered incidents that can interrupt or reduce service quality, therefore negatively impacting business processes. For example, there could be an interruption in the availability of the database, or corrupt data in the database.

However, the quicker the incident is resolved, the shorter the downtime and importantly, the greater the employee productivity as the disruption is kept to a minimum.

Also, within an integrated AMM approach, supplementary services offer the implementation of new or optimisation of existing applications and the replacement of legacy applications.

Furthermore, it can also provide answers to company-specific requirements and goals; for example, where mergers and acquisitions require the transfer of business-process-specific applications into the existing application landscape.

Ultimately, the long-term goal of the AMM strategy is to stabilise the IT infrastructure and services through the elimination of problems in whatever context.

Flexibility of AMM

AMM also allows for the market’s increasing shift to a per-incident approach as opposed to per minute billing.

Its flexible nature sees companies opting for a service that allows the AMM team to solve incidents as they occur. Therefore, if the database is experiencing availability issues, the team resolves the issue irrespective of how long it takes.

The up side is companies can rest assured that their costs won’t spiral out control if a serious issue arises - plus they can plan their IT budget accordingly per an allocated number of incidences per year.

Companies begin to think twice before calling the support team, as a minor incident will still cost a predefined amount. This in turn creates a culture of self sufficiency with minor incidents that can be handled internally.

Considering the above flexibility and overall benefits of AMM it is clear that it is a strategy that provides companies with a high-quality, demand-driven, scalable and flexible service that delivers fast and cost-efficiently – anytime and anyplace.

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