IT software is a game-changer that drives business growth across the world. It opens up opportunities and new revenue streams, transforms end-user experience, and gears up businesses to innovative ways of reaching and expanding their market base. Global demand and usage of applications is expected to grow more in the coming years.
Application development and management have increasingly become an essential strategy to improve business outcomes and add value to its service – and ultimately stay ahead of the competition.
Let’s take a look at some key concepts and strategies in managing business applications.
What is application development?
Application development is the first part of the software life cycle. It involves planning, design, building, testing and deployment of an application. IT solutions are designed for various purposes such as to drive innovation, automate business process or processes, or address certain business challenges. Considering the uniqueness of every business, many organizations look for custom software development to create applications suited to their individual business needs. Custom solutions are designed to be scalable, easily manageable, and secure.
In a highly competitive market, it is crucial to be ahead and deploy a new approach to software development and software projects quickly. But this is not an easy task, especially with a scarcity in skilled IT professionals. The majority of businesses outsource software development to shorten production time and cut costs.
What is application management?
Customer expectations and business needs are continuously evolving. Application management is responsible for managing and supporting the IT software throughout their life cycle. For the application to stay relevant, effective and competitive, proper maintenance and management is crucial. This involves implementing new strategies, updating the software, and diagnosing and resolving technical failures. Organizations must invest on constantly enhancing their IT solutions.
A common misconception about application management is that it all about troubleshooting defects. It is more than that. Aside from this primordial task, it also involves exploring areas for improvement, supporting ongoing application upgrades, maintaining operational applications, and deciding when modernization is necessary.
Managing and keeping applications running smoothly while meeting the daily needs of users can be costly and time consuming. However, software can become obsolete over time and maintaining it can be costlier. In these cases, the software will need to undergo modernization to stay relevant and useful.
What is application modernization?
Basically, application modernization involves updating the IT system giving it new and modern functionalities and features to better align with your business or end-user needs. It addresses three pain points in old applications, particularly aging infrastructure, legacy applications, and lack of agility.
Many businesses still run decade-old legacy infrastructure. But since business data and core processes have become dependent on it, replacing the entire system may not be practical or easy. Similarly, many businesses still use legacy applications that automate overly complicated functions, such as budgeting, invoicing, approvals, order processing, etc. Legacy application modernization aims to modernize the system without hampering productivity and avoiding disruptions.
One major problem with aging infrastructure and legacy applications is their lack of agility. Users waste plenty of time doing administrative tasks like transferring data from one system to another, spending time searching for missing data in different systems, and conducting approvals across multiple platforms. These obsolete IT infrastructures are costly to maintain and leave little room for future innovation. Using these old systems can strain the company resources – application modernization can plug the financial drain.
What are the best strategies to manage and maintain your business application?
Managing business application is not always easy. However, there are strategies you can implement to maintain enterprise software.
Work with experienced partner
Crucial in developing managing your application are your tech team. Look for IT professionals with experience. If outsourcing your IT maintenance, choose a communicative, reliable and experienced partner for your ongoing support needs. You can also partner with an IT consulting firm to help your existing team.
Invest in training
Technology is continuously evolving. Investing in staff development is important to keep your IT team well-versed with the latest in technology, particularly on existing application updates or new applications. By training your team, they can deliver the best results.
To effectively manage your technology, you need to ensure that whole team is in unison. Documenting your strategy and distributing to every collaborator can keep involved parties on the same page. Collaboration also opens more insights about how to manage your application.
Compliance with best practices, standards, and regulations keep your applications secured and protected. It also avoids costly penalties due to non-compliance with policies.
Security is a vital part of managing your business application. Cyber criminals and hackers are always on the lookout for victims – and business applications are a prized target. Hence, it is important for businesses to invest in beefing up their security.
Continuous surveillance and update
Keeping your business application in tiptop shape requires continuous surveillance for bugs and glitches. But aside from operational bugs, your IT team must also explore for new and upcoming technologies that can be implemented to improve your application.
To take full advantage of your business application throughout its life cycle (from development to modernization), stringent application management is a must. The strategies discussed above can help guarantee that your business applications maintain functionality and relevance.