The shift to digital services is no longer an afterthought. It is growing in importance among businesses, with more and more businesses moving online. Aside from websites and online platforms, different organizations now develop their own applications to allow their client better access to their products and services.
However, developing your own app requires specialized skills. Moreover, a proprietary app for your company also calls for administration and maintenance. These are some of the reasons why companies are looking towards outsourcing application management processes to keep the app running smoothly.
Here are some techniques on how to outsource your company’s app management processes.
Selecting Your Preferred Type
There are different kinds of application managed services an enterprise can outsource. It ranges from all-around management or you can choose which processes they can take over. Usually, this also varies depending on the capacity of the solution provider and your location.
All-round outsourcing essentially hands over the reins to the managed IT service provider such as Fusion Computing Limited. They will take charge and responsibility over total management of all activities relating to app support and optimization. Aside from keeping the application up and running, the provider can also provide you with suggestions and recommendations for improvement. In all-round outsourcing, the provider is expected to work closely with their client to continuously improve the application to meet the changing business requirements.
On the other hand, selective outsourcing only delegates certain aspects of managing the application. For example, the supplier will only be in charge of troubleshooting or periodic updates and maintenance. They can also be in charge of particular aspects of running the application like performance management or troubleshooting and enhancement.
Location-wise, outsourcing can either be onshore, nearshore, offshore, or a mixture or any of them. Generally, nearshore or offshore options are the more cost-effective options.
Selecting Pricing Options
The next step is agreeing on a pricing plan that works for you. In outsourcing the application management process, it is imperative to recognize the various pricing ranges offered by your suppliers/ providers.
Most providers are offering to provide you with a dedicated team to work on the services you need for your application management. The number of people working on this team affects your bill to the managed IT service provider.
Also, with regard to the bill, you can also discuss the billing periods with your application management providers. You can settle for a fixed price to be paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually. A fixed billing works since it allows you to plan your expenditures ahead of time and be sure that it remains constant under contract, unless additional services or manpower are then included. A point of caution is that you have to consider if your enterprise application is demanding or is it fairly low maintenance. For applications not necessarily requiring high levels of management and maintenance, fixed pricing might cause overpricing for the company.
If, based on your assessment, the application encounters a fairly low number of issues for a given period of time, your organization might consider setting up an incident-based pricing plan. You are only billed every time the supplier sends its professional team to address your issues, depending on either the length and the complexity of the troubleshooting work.
If you are conflicted about which pricing strategy to adopt, perhaps you can take a look at mixed pricing plans. You start with a standard fee to pay, regardless of the number of issues you might encounter down the line. Pre-defined scenarios such as additional requests and more difficult issues might be charged separately.
Starting the EAM outsourcing
You start the outsourcing plan by announcing the company’s intent on doing so. Here you ask the questions such as the type of outsourcing you wish to adapt. Also, it is important to clearly define the organization’s objective in this undertaking. Whether you are looking to innovate with your products and services or improve their quality, if you wish to better address the needs of your market or simply gain an advantage over your competitors.
Here you also assess the current state of your organization, its strengths and weaknesses with respect to your plan for an enterprise application. Do you have sufficient internal capacity to manage this, or can your internal IT department can at least work together with the service provider to reduce costs? This next step will bring you your key persons in handling this project, from making sure that the application leads to increased business value to having a hand in the latest technology with your application.
Next is finding the partner who can best provide your needs and align themselves with the overall vision of the organization. In finding the best supplier, try considering the following points:
- Flexibility. Of course your organization and your outsource service provider can’t take different ways in reaching the goal. They have to be able to adjust metrics and measures to meet your needs, giving you what you need without missing vital parts or adding unnecessary services.
- Approaches. Technology is kept alive by the drive to always improve existing methodologies. If your company is already familiar with modern DevOps practices such as continuous integration and delivery, or the use of cloud computing technology, find a supplier that can support you in integrating these practices in the development and management of your application.
- Compliance. From the design to the deployment of your application, there are quality and community standards especially in critical industries such as finance or healthcare.
Once you get to know the people you’ll be working with, and the guidelines for the partnership are established. You can start drawing up the contract and delimit the responsibilities of all parties involved. In outsourcing the application management process, usually a Statement of Work (SOW) and a Service Level Agreement (SLA) are drafted and signed.
Afterwards, the transfer of responsibility to your outsource provider is gradually done. Expect a pre-processing delay since the outsource team will still have to familiarize themselves with your existing IT infrastructure, practices, and protocols. They will have to clarify how they will go about documenting the source code, identifying and meeting the target application requirements and so on. Once they integrate themselves to the nature and circumstances of your application, then they can start managing it on your behalf.