Today’s enterprise application environment has become far too complex with rapid changes in technology and business. On the one hand, IT leaders struggle with budget constraints and skill shortages, on the other they are saddled with the burden of managing an outdated and inflexible application portfolio that is expected to meet the growing demands of a new-age, super-connected class of end users.
It is hardly surprising then that 80% of CIOs view application performance as a top priority for their company, yet only half are confident they can meet the new demands of a changing workplace. IT leaders and CIOs often ask, “How can we maximize the value of existing applications rather than investing in new ones?” and “How can we improve our organization’s competitive position while keeping costs in check?”
Bringing About “Non-Disruptive” Transformation
Traditional methods of offering pre-built solutions (i.e. “rip and replace”) are often in conflict with an organization’s existing investments and are not only risky, but an expensive proposition. Organizations today need a partner who is platform and applications agnostic, one who can leverage existing tools, staff, processes, and infrastructure while augmenting it with industry standards and best practices. Enterprises expect flexibility in terms of structuring contracts to promote business value. Clearly, this translates to reduced total cost of ownership and improved business-IT alignment – all leading to “non-disruptive” transformation via modernization with new capabilities such as mobile, social, analytics and cloud.
The next dimension of application managed services should operate outside the realm of routine functions to provide real-time, on-demand insights into an organization’s applications estate. It should align IT with business to drive down cost and support organizational goals. It should also deliver on the promise of an “always-on”, “future-ready” experience for end users. What does it take to move away from standard approaches and gain better results at lower costs? The answer lies in embracing a three point strategy:
Analytics driven design – By applying analytics to operations, organizations can reap the benefits of leveraging highly integrated tool sets and solutions. At Unisys, we use the same Service Excellence Office for Application Managed Services (AMS) as the Service Desk team. This gives us information or data that helps us combine a wide range of statistics in real-time about how well applications are meeting the requirements of lines of business alongside those on pure performance. Armed with this insight we move from reactive to proactive, preventative, and predictive support models.
Focus on end-users – A people-oriented view to delivering IT services can help organizations simplify the management of their computing environment and optimize how people and applications utilize the infrastructure. One way of doing this is to analyse historical data and identify predictable user issues and move them to a closer source of resolution. In other words employ a “shift–left strategy” i.e., moving the resolution of support requests from the most costly, labor-intensive approach to a more cost-effective automated and preventative model. With this approach, employees can quickly get back to work, while you drastically reduce the time and cost needed to address their concerns.
Lightweight agile approach – At the heart of agility is ability to respond quickly to change and rising demands. Most application projects run the risk of being unaligned to business, too slow, and over budget. Adopting a lightweight agile development approach to designing and provisioning solutions enables you to provide modern applications and new functionality that drives end user productivity and helps meet business objectives.
Driving business growth
There’s no doubt that the cost and complexity of managing enterprise applications is exponentially growing, and this reality leaves little or no room in the IT budget for innovation. Organizations seeking to thrive in today’s dynamic global environment require a combination of careful analysis, a flexible approach, and the right technology partners. Managing an application portfolio efficiently reduces risks, increases productivity and lowers operational costs. So let your application portfolio navigate your path to success.