What do Application Management do?
A good Application Management function is a jack of all trades.
There are the bread-and-butter activities that anyone in IT takes for granted:
· Maintenance and Patching
· Incident resolution
· Routine request fulfilment
· Capacity planning
· Licence management
· Vendor management
The last three are, if we are being honest, luxuries in some businesses. Quite often capacity planning is the first to go when budgets are pushed. The time to plan is expensive, and the proactive provisioning of capacity is also not free. Licence management, which should pay for itself if managed properly, is often delegated to the office junior as we hope for the best. And vendor management… well, there’s a difference between nice expense account lunches on the one hand, or endless wars of attrition on the other, and vendor management. I cannot think of anyone who gets the balance right all the time.
Application Management also finds itself forced into being Business Analysts where there is no one else to do it. They are forced to be trainers and sometimes just a sympathetic ear to a frustrated user. In many companies, Application Management also become the technical voice of Service Management. If a company chooses to have a pure customer service and process focused Service Management team (which is entirely valid, this is not to suggest otherwise) then they need someone to coordinate technical discussions. That needs to be a team who think about servers, connectivity, desktop and mobile equipment, software and the user requirement. Want to guess who that might be?
Application Management teams can go in a single day from recoding software at the lowest technical level to presenting value to the board to helping an individual user with a specific function. They can plan infrastructure upgrades and consult on network architecture; they will advise on selection of vendors and manage the services from existing partners.
Application Management do so much more than manage applications.