We’re in a privileged position. We get handed the keys to some of the biggest, most sophisticated application portfolios in the world. And we build up an aggregated view of what the corporate world does well, and what it could do better.
We see it as our duty to turn what we learn into optimised processes that save our customers money and support their business more effectively.
So here goes: when it comes to the application lifecycle or active management of app estates, it’s time to say goodbye to business as usual and carrying on like before. And time to say hello to excellence as usual and a dynamic process with continuous improvement built-in.
Typical application governance processes oversee the allocation of resources based on, usually, standardised policies, procedures and rules.
They do some things well but they should do better: they’re slow and compliant rather than fast and agile. They respond to subjective requests rather than objective data.
And they let down businesses by failing to deliver intelligence on dynamic changes to the way applications are being used, supported and licensed. The end result is on-going chaos instead of perpetual agility.
So what do you do to build dynamic intelligence into your static governance processes? There are 10 key elements of application status management you need to master:
- Monitor application usage – Understand the usage of each application. This includes both how often it’s used, who’s using it and how much is being used.
- Adapt to significant changes – A change in application usage means its value is either on the up or on the wane. If the trend turns into a pattern then it’s time to adapt.
- Stay true on licenses – Why wait for software asset management processes for a painful alignment on licenses? It pays to keep them right as you go.
- Increase or decrease count – Pass on the implications for procurement and let them understand the changes in application dynamics for better forward planning.
- Consider application alternatives – There are plenty application alternatives that better suit your business, particularly in an era of hybrid strategies and cloud alternatives.
- Retire the deadwood – There is no point in keeping the apps with plummeting usage and business value. But it happens. All the time.
- Decommission data – Don’t forget that data can live on when applications die. An improvement process caters for any associated data.
- Follow support status – A change in support status can mean a dramatic change in organisation costs and stability. But it’s rare to find processes that consider these changes.
- Plan for new versions – Your supplier’s bringing out a new version, but that doesn’t mean you upgrade blind. It could be another time to consider better business alternatives.
- Patch management – The next patch coming downstream might be simple enough. Or, if you’re not ready, might lead to a panic and a drain on scarce resources.
These are just ten steps to turn static processes into vibrant, dynamic and excellent everyday processes. We could let you into more…