Exco Finance Technology

How to increase the return on your application investments

driving results with application management

This report examines major trends and challenges in application management and offers practical advice to help organisations increase the return on their application.

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Executive Summary

Like a well-trained pit crew, application management can help your business operate at peak performance – which in today’s hypercompetitive business world can be the difference between sipping champagne in the victory lane and crashing into the wall.

Unfortunately, some organisations invest so much time, money, and energy on application development that they do not have anything left for application management. Others mistakenly believe that by deploying a standard ERP package, their application issues will magically disappear. And in many cases, application management organisations that were well-suited to the challenges of the past have simply become obsolete.

While many organisations continue to view application management as a secondary technology function or “helpdesk”, a number of leading organisations have begun to recognise the broad potential of application management and are using it to help boost their business performance and results.

Deloitte has a global AMS practice, and based on our experience, effective application management revolves around eight specific elements:

  1. Strategy: Developing an application management strategy that aligns with the organisation’s overall business strategy
  2. Organisation: Designing an operating model and organisation structure – including external service providers – that fit the needs of the business while increasing application management efficiency and performance
  3. Financials: Using financial tools, such as business cases and chargebacks, to quantify the value that application management is creating and to make investment decisions based on hard data
  4. Talent: Overcoming the global talent shortage through new approaches to recruiting, development, retention, and skills management.
  5. Processes: Using structured process models and/or formal process certification to improve performance.
  6. Technology: Developing hardware and software tools to improve service delivery and reporting.
  7. Service delivery: Defining and measuring success through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aligning performance measures and incentives across the entire value chain.
  8. Infrastructure: Planning, architecting, implementing and securing hardware, database and network infrastructure – including related managed services and disaster recovery/business continuity services.

These elements work in concert to define an organisation’s application management capabilities. However, each presents different challenges and elements to achievement of goals – as well as a dizzying array of options. For example, in structuring their application management organisation, organisations can choose from insourcing, outsourcing or a shared service model. Or, they can choose from a large number of hybrid approaches to produce something entirely new.

In the end, every organisation is different – and every application portfolio is different. One way to get started is to take a hard look at your capabilities in each of the eight areas listed above and then to design an application management strategy that fits the particular needs of your business.

Click here to download the full report

If you have any questions or would like to unpack the content presented in the report in more detail, please contact Glen Krynauw at Deloitte Technology at gkrynauw@deloitte.co.za.

About the author

David Graham

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