Constantly changing IT environments, growing cloud investment, and a rapid stream of software updates threaten to pull organisational focus away from big-picture activities.
IT landscapes in organisations are subject to constant change, which can be complex to manage. Cloud applications are continuously updated, enhanced, customised or migrated, exposing organisations to change management issues. Plus, the variety of systems, licences and interactions are simply too diverse and large for many IT teams to manage. Hence the rise of IT partners delivering Application Managed Services.
With at least 42% of Australian businesses now actively using the cloud1, Application Managed Services have grown as a way for organisations to keep their application ecosystems current, up-to-date and in line with staff, client and security needs.
Unsupported applications are prone to disruption and performance issues, and the impact that has on staff productivity means it can quickly become a distraction. Ideally, IT teams should focus on strategically planning their next application or portal to meet user needs, rather than managing application stability, availability or enhancements, bug-fixes and major Microsoft upgrades.
End-to-end application support from a single provider gives organisations the confidence that everything from system health checks, incident management and bug fixes to customised enhancements are looked after. An ongoing strategic IT partnership means organisations can seamlessly manage business-as-usual.
Staying ahead of the curve
Consider a scenario where an organisation or government department deploys self-service portals and platforms for customer and internal use over several years, with most of these platforms built using Microsoft Dynamics 365, interfacing with the Power Platform frontend. There has been a significant investment of time and money in both the creation and upkeep of these cloud-based solutions. On top of this, if the self-service portal facilitates automation for users, it needs to be reliable and available.
This is significant for IT operations, requiring a focus on streamlined incident and request investigation and resolution, along with efficient and controlled implementation of enhancements, bug fixes and Microsoft release waves. In these scenarios, ongoing support for cloud-based applications is required, which most inhouse IT teams can’t operationally or financially sustain. It is particularly challenging to manage without the most up-to-date Microsoft knowledge, training and certifications.
An Application Managed Service provider that partners with Microsoft can be of significant assistance, especially as investment in cloud applications continue to grow, as shown by Microsoft’s GEO expansion and the emergence of ‘new wave’ technologies. By virtue of a Microsoft partnership, these expert providers can proactively manage major Microsoft updates through a controlled assessment, testing and deployment process months in advance of Microsoft releasing updates.
Various functions and skills are needed to protect and enhance an application, all while proactively assessing, testing and deploying Microsoft updates, and designing, testing and implementing user-requested application enhancements. Typically, these time-consuming processes need an overarching governance layer, with the support from principal consultants, business analysts, testers, change and release managers, and a currency of knowledge about the latest releases and what they’re designed to do.
More than just build: keep apps operating optimally
While many organisations and government departments engage a provider to build an application, once it’s implemented and operational, they’re often left to manage it themselves. All applications require ongoing support to garner the best value.
With businesses constantly needing to evolve to meet ever-changing business needs, inevitably, applications must be enhanced to meet the latest business requirements. The key is to find a partner who is able to provide both operational services, and deliver development services (enhancements, bug/defect remediation, major update management) in parallel, and be able to do this with minimal service disruption.
Stable and reliable applications ultimately drive greater operational efficiencies. Organisations should stay focused on activities that grow revenue or achieve other strategic goals, knowing further improvements are being delivered by an expert partner.
Choosing the right partner
When deciding to engage an Application Managed Services provider, your organisation should look for flexibility, scalability, and deep expertise in its chosen technologies, something Atturra is known for. Whether you’re a small, medium or large commercial or public sector enterprise, we offer reliable, end-to-end Application Managed Services. Talk to our specialists today for more information.
1. The Economic Value of Cloud Services in Australia, Deloitte, 2019