May 18, 2024
Video Streaming Software

Leveraging Managed Application Services for Business Growth and Cost Savings

Managed Application Services: An Overview
In today’s highly competitive business landscape, organizations are under constant pressure to drive innovation, achieve maximum productivity, and optimize costs. While digital transformation and technological advancements have opened up many opportunities, they have also increased business complexity. Managing diverse and often mission-critical applications internally requires significant time and skillsets that most companies lack. This is where managed application services providers come in by taking over non-core application management functions and helping businesses stay agile.

What are Managed Application Services?
Managed application services refer to outsourcing the day-to-day maintenance and support of applications to a third-party managed service provider (MSP). The MSP takes responsibility for monitoring, managing, and maintaining custom or packaged applications on behalf of the client organization. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies while leveraging the expertise of application management specialists. Some key elements covered under managed application services typically include:

Application Management
Managed Application Services takes care of the entire application lifecycle including updates, upgrades, patching, testing, and monitoring for optimal performance. They apply fixes and resolve issues to ensure applications run smoothly.

Application Support
Experienced support engineers employed by the MSP provide Level 1, 2, and 3 support for applications. This involves addressing user queries, debugging problems, and quick resolution of incidents and service disruptions.

Infrastructure Management
For cloud or on-premise applications, the associated infrastructure is also managed. This includes servers, storage, databases, networks etc. ensuring high availability and security.

Application Hosting
Some MSPs offer full-stack hosting and management of client applications either on their own private or public clouds. This reduces client infrastructure costs and management overheads.

Data Management
For databases and repositories backing applications, the MSP handles backup, recovery, archiving, compliance and other data management functions.

Security Management
Robust security practices like access controls, encryption, firewalls etc. are implemented and managed by the MSP to safeguard applications and data.

Reporting and Analytics
Regular operational and health reports are provided along with analytics on usage, performance, and optimization opportunities.

Benefits of Outsourcing Application Management

Cost Savings
By outsourcing non-core functions to experts, significant operational expenses can be trimmed related to hardware, software licenses, personnel and other overheads. Capex is converted to more predictable opex.

Access to Skills and Expertise
Managed application service providers employ seasoned professionals with deep skills and certifications in various platforms, frameworks, programming languages etc. This pool of talent may not be feasible to hire and retain in-house.

Scalability and Flexibility
As business needs change, so can the level of application management support – scaling up or down through the MSP. Capital is not locked in procuring or maintaining redundant infrastructure.

Focus on Core Business
With applications managed by a third party, internal teams can invest more time and efforts on strategic objectives, innovation, product development etc. rather than routine maintenance.

Technology Agnostic Support
MSPs maintain technology independence and can support diverse platforms, databases etc. Removing vendor lock-in provides flexibility during digital transitions.

Peace of Mind
Risks related to security breaches, compliance issues or technology obsolescence are mitigated with around-the-clock monitoring and management by application experts. SLAs ensure predictable service uptime.

Standardization and Best Practices
MSPs implement standardized frameworks, tools and processes leveraging their experience across multiple clients. This brings operational efficiency, compliance and improved performance.

Managed Application Services Models

There are different models of managed application services depending on client requirements:

On-Premise Management
For existing on-premise applications, the MSP takes over complete on-premise maintenance without changing infrastructure ownership.

Infrastructure Management
The MSP manages client-owned infrastructure and applications in an on-premise, co-managed model with some responsibilities remaining with the client.

Hosted Application Management
The MSP hosts client applications and data entirely on their own secure private or public cloud infrastructure, eliminating on-premise hardware costs.

Fully Managed Application Suites
Complete SaaS-based business applications including ERP, CRM etc. are managed by the MSP on a subscription license model with automatic updates.

Co-Managed Public Clouds
Applications hosted on public clouds like AWS, Azure are co-managed by the MSP and client for security, monitoring, backups, upgrades etc.

As-a-Service models
Specific application services like database, middleware layers are provided on demand with pricing based on actual usage and resources consumed.

Choosing the right managed application services model requires evaluating factors like existing infrastructure investments, security policies, scalability needs and cloud readiness. A trusted managed services partner can help analyze business requirements and recommend the best fit.

Adopting Managed Application Services

While outsourcing critical application functions needs careful planning and partner selection, the payoffs of managed application services make a strong business case for most organizations. Evaluating total cost of ownership, conducting a risk assessment of in-house capabilities and benchmarking KPIs are prudent initial steps before selecting a managed services provider.

A request for proposal detailing functional and technical requirements along with pricing and SLAs helps shortlist qualified vendors. Pilot engagements provide hands-on experience of partner service quality before large-scale rollouts. Long-term agreements with experienced providers ensure business continuity through professional management of applications underpinning key operations.

This enables internal IT teams to augment their strategic skills while capitalizing on third-party economies of scale. With metrics-driven governance and continuous improvement, organizations leveraging managed application services gain technology agility to accelerate growth in dynamic market conditions.