Application Management Services (AMS) refers to the process of outsourcing various aspects of application management and support to a third-party service provider. This blog explains what AMS is, the different types of AMS, the AMS process, the benefits of outsourcing application management, and how to choose the right AMS provider.
Application Management Services (AMS) refers to the process of outsourcing various aspects of application management and support to a third-party service provider. AMS providers take responsibility for managing applications throughout their lifecycle from development to maintenance and support. This allows organizations to focus on their core business while benefiting from the expertise, scalability, and cost efficiencies of AMS providers. This blog explains what AMS is, the different types of AMS, the AMS process, the benefits of outsourcing application management, and how to choose the right AMS provider.
Application Management Services (AMS) refers to managing application activities throughout the various phases of application lifecycle management. It typically includes planning, analysis, design, development, testing, deployment, and application maintenance. An Application Management Services provider assumes partial or complete responsibility for the maintenance, support, and evolution of a customer's custom or packaged applications.
The AMS provider also executes tasks like application maintenance, application enhancement, application modification, batch cycle monitoring, application troubleshooting, and more. This also helps the customer organization focus on its core competencies by outsourcing the management of its non-core applications to AMS providers.
AMS providers can leverage economies of scale in tools, technologies, and manpower to optimally manage the outsourced applications. In essence, Application Management Services involve leveraging the expertise of specialized professionals at an external service provider during the different stages of the application lifecycle. It also helps to optimize application performance, cost, and efficiency.
There are several main types of Application Management Services:
Application Maintenance and Support is the most common type of Application Management Services provided by AMS vendors. It includes activities that ensure applications run smoothly and meet the business and user requirements over time. Application Support encompasses tasks like fixing bugs, making minor modifications, monitoring batch jobs, troubleshooting issues, answering user queries, and providing workarounds. The aim is to keep applications running optimally with minimum downtime. An AMS provider takes over responsibility for performing these routine maintenance and support tasks, allowing the in-house team to focus on strategic initiatives.
Application Enhancement refers to improving existing applications based on changing business needs. An AMS provider can take on the job of enhancing applications so that the in-house IT team can focus on other priorities. Application enhancement involves activities like modifying reports and dashboards, adding new fields and data elements, upgrading database versions, integrating with other systems, redesigning interfaces, and improving performance. The goal is to make applications more efficient, user-friendly, and able to support business growth.
Application enhancement can range from minor tweaks to major overhauls and upgrades. By outsourcing application enhancement to an AMS vendor, organizations can also access specialized skills, leverage process frameworks, and benefit from fast turnaround times.
Outsourcing the entire development of custom or packaged applications to an AMS vendor is known as Application Development. The AMS provider takes on responsibility for designing, developing, testing, and deploying new applications as per the client's requirements. This also allows the client's IT team to focus on other tasks while leveraging the experience, skills, and tools of the AMS provider.
Benefits of outsourcing application development include access to a larger pool of developers, cost savings due to economies of scale, adherence to industry best practices and process frameworks, and faster time to market. The AMS provider follows a structured development life cycle covering phases like requirement gathering, architecture design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
Infrastructure Management refers to outsourcing the maintenance and management of underlying application infrastructure to an AMS provider. This includes platforms like application servers, databases, middleware, web servers, and other components that support applications. An AMS vendor takes on the responsibilities of monitoring, patching, backup, performance tuning, and security of the infrastructure.
By outsourcing infrastructure management, organizations can benefit from the expertise of administrators specialized in specific infrastructure components. The AMS provider implements best practices and automation to optimize infrastructure performance, availability, and cost. Outsourcing infrastructure management also allows the in-house team to focus on higher-value activities. It is done while ensuring applications run smoothly on a stable and secure infrastructure.
Application Testing as part of Application Management Services involves outsourcing the testing of applications to an AMS provider. The AMS vendor deploys testers who have specialized skills and tools to perform different types of testing like functional testing, security testing, performance testing, regression testing, and integration testing. The tests ensure that applications work as expected, meet business requirements, and are secure, stable, and scalable. By outsourcing application testing, organizations can reduce the time spent on testing, gain access to advanced testing techniques and technologies, and improve overall test coverage.
An AMS provider follows a well-defined testing methodology and maintains test plans, cases, scripts, data, and environments. The in-house team focuses on development while the AMS vendor manages all testing requirements to validate the quality of applications.
Helpdesk Support is a common Application Management Service where an AMS provider takes over the first and second-level support for end users of an organization's applications. The AMS vendor deploys and manages a team of support agents who handle user queries, complaints, and issue reports related to applications. Support agents investigate problems, resolve basic issues, provide workarounds, and escalate complex issues to the client's internal team.
Organizations benefit from lower support costs due to economies of scale, round-the-clock support coverage, and faster issue resolution. The AMS provider typically uses tools like ticketing systems, knowledge bases, and workflow automation to improve the efficiency of application support. Outsourcing helpdesk support allows the in-house team to focus on strategic tasks while end users get timely resolution of issues from the AMS vendor's support team.
Deployment Management involves outsourcing the rollout of new or updated applications to an AMS provider. The Application Management Services vendor handles all stages of the deployment process from planning to post-implementation support. This includes conducting impact analyses, creating deployment blueprints, scheduling rollouts in staged environments, regression testing after deployment, change management communication, and training end users.
With the help of outsourcing deployment management, organizations can minimize deployment risks and downtime through the experience and expertise of the AMS provider. The AMS vendor follows best practices and uses automation tools to streamline the deployment process. They also maintain deployment standards and procedures. Outsourcing deployment management allows the internal IT team to focus on development while the AMS provider ensures new applications are deployed smoothly and with minimum disruption.
The typical Application Management Services process includes the following stages:
The main benefits of Application Management Services include:
Here are some tips on how to choose the right Application Management Services provider:
Application Management Services provide organizations with an effective way to optimize the management of their applications. By outsourcing to an experienced AMS provider, businesses can reduce costs, improve efficiencies, access specialized expertise and mitigate risks related to applications. Choosing the right provider based on your requirements is also essential to ensure your objectives are met. Outsourcing application management allows businesses to shift focus to strategic initiatives that directly impact growth while ensuring applications perform effectively through every stage of their lifecycle.