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Application management services is where the responsibility of managing your business applications is outsourced to a third-party consultancy. These consultancies are often known as AMS (application management services) partners and there are various pros and cons of working with them. Got 10 minutes to spare? Keep reading this blog post to find out more about AMS…

Isn’t AMS the same as managed IT support?

Let’s start with a common misconception. AMS and managed IT support are often used interchangeably. Business application management sounds like an IT person’s responsibility, right? Kind of but not really. Let me try to explain…

As we explained briefly in our introduction, AMS partners monitor and manage your business apps and systems. That could include:

  • Infrastructure management - your IT infrastructure will likely be the backbone of your business. Infrastructure management ensures this ‘backbone’ is kept in tip-top shape - so downtime is kept at a minimum and productivity is maximised
  • Solution operation - so your systems stay healthy and evergreen
  • Solution support - provided via a single point-of-contact service desk that’s available 24/7. So, all application-related requests and incidents can feed through to a centralised location
  • Problem management - where the number of incidents is proactively being reduced via root cause analysis
  • Solution optimisation - your applications and the level of service provided will be adapted to suit your changing business needs
  • Transition management - if adaptions do happen, the impact to your team’s productivity and efficiency will be minimal. Great AMS partners will offer a standardised handover process, complete with key knowledge being transferred to the relevant people and a detailed operational manual

What is application management services

In contrast, managed IT support handle IT-related incidents and requests. Their service often follows a ‘break-fix’ model, purely because IT support is there to fix issues that have been raised by users.

The services an IT support partner might offer include:

  • Data centre maintenance
  • Installation and configuration of IT systems
  • Diagnosing hardware and software faults
  • Resolving hardware and software faults
  • Software maintenance - such as performing functional and technical updates

As you can see, the level of service offered by an AMS partner is much deeper than just IT. Read more about how AMS compares to managed IT support here.

The pros of AMS

  • Access to specialist knowledge/expertise that you may not have in-house…
  • …which means you don’t need to recruit and incur additional costs from that
  • An AMS partner will handle the day-to-day tasks associated with application management and ensure your business processes aren’t disrupted…
  • …so, your internal IT and application development team’s time is now free to focus on your business growth (e.g. working on new innovations)
  • Maintenance costs are reduced, application performance is enhanced and productivity/efficiency can be maximised
  • Risk of downtime can be minimised as platforms are more stable
  • Your applications are evergreen and healthy which results in…
  • …your employees benefiting from better user experience and their productivity being boosted

Let’s read about application management

The cons of AMS

  • It may not be the most cost-efficient option, depending on various factors e.g. business size, complexity of systems and how many applications you need support for. However, the cost of an AMS contract is a far more cost-efficient choice than the cost of your business systems being down and the work required to get it back up again. It's also more cost effective than having all the relevant skillsets at the right level in-house
  • Not every AMS partner is created equal. You might require additional services and if your current AMS partner can’t meet these needs, you’ll need to find another. That’s why you should take some time to choose the right AMS partner. Assess their ability to scale their service to meet your needs
  • As they’re external, it may take an AMS partner some time to get to know your business. Whereas an in-house team is already accustomed to the niches of your industry, for example. Though many businesses balance this ‘con’ with their need for additional application management support (in other words, do you have the resources spare to handle application management in-house?)

Do I really need an AMS partner?

You may have read the above drawbacks of AMS and are now wondering if your business even really needs an AMS partner. Ask yourself the following:

  • Do I need specialist knowledge?
  • Am I anticipating change within the business?
  • Do I need my business to be able to adapt quickly to the changing landscape?
  • Is my IT team spending more time managing apps than anything else?
  • Do I want to improve cost efficiency?

Answered ‘yes’ to at least one of the above? That’s exactly why you need an AMS partner! The alternative is to keep it in-house which means you either have the resource already or you need to recruit for it. Work with an AMS partner and their specialist team will become an extension of yours.

Learn all about application management services in 10 minutes_blog

There’s more to application management and here’s where to dive deeper…

The 800-and-something words you’ve just read barely cover the tip of the iceberg that is application management. For example, we haven't even moved onto the importance of looking for a trusted advisor within your AMS partner.

For all things AMS, from a deeper explanation of the pros and cons to tips on finding the right AMS partner (including the signs your prospective partner may one day become a trusted advisor), download our guide below.

It covers the what, why and how. Click the button below to dive deeper!

How to choose an AMS partner

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