Cloud computing, mobile enterprise, compliance and so on – the highly competitive business environment puts ever more pressure on IT to meet fast and smooth the agile business demands. But the application landscape has grown over the years, resembling a dense jungle rather than a landscaped English garden.

Indeed, constantly expanding ICT application environments within companies call for ever greater HR and financial expenditure on operations, service, maintenance and user support. This in turn leaves very little flexibility to modernise ICT installations, writes André Harrington, manager and SAP expert at T-Systems.
The question is how to modernise a business without disrupting its very core? How can the business ensure that a new application adds value, instead of making matters worse? And how can these applications be managed in order to to eliminate redundancies while encouraging their use?
The answer lies in an effective application management and modernisation (AMM) strategy that enables users to understand the entire application lifecycle, while alleviating complexities and gaining the most from modernisation investments.
What sets AMM apart?
At its core, AMM goes beyond application support offerings,  combining a holistic approach to application operation outsourcing with the modernisation of the application landscape.
Critical to the success of AMM is clearly defined service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure the operation, maintenance, support and further development of the applications.
Also, an outsourcing partner will, as part of the AMM process, design and evaluate typical modernisation drivers, in terms of cost efficiency and business effectiveness.
That said, what sets AMM really apart? The answer is cost savings. It is estimated a company can save as much as 25% on existing costs. Plus, savings from day one of the service provision can also cover the investment in modernisation.
The modernisation blueprint and execution plan derives from the T-Systems B.I.S. assessment, a market leading consulting methodology, taking a holistic view on the customer’s business, ICT infrastructure and services situation and needs.
A roadmap is then developed to meet the business demand in areas of industrialisation, consolidation and transformation, ranging from quick wins in “lift and shift” applications, to industrialised platform and consolidation projects, such as in streamlining SAP landscapes, migrating to cloud landscapes or integrating cloud services.
The required resources can also be adapted flexibly and quickly. In this way, companies become more agile and increase their international competitiveness through modernisation and innovation.
AMM enables organisations to exploit the functions and features from the technology developed for their industries. It is not about maintaining the status quote, but rather, doing better business – and this is what an AMM strategy brings to the table.
The key to success
When embarking on an AMM process, it is important that the service provider is highly flexible and offers a suitable mix of onsite, offsite and offshore delivery.
It should also be collaborative relationship, moving away from mere performance obligations; this in turn will increase service provision.
“A collaborative partnership is the only way to promote and implement topics such as innovation, for example,” comments global market analysis and strategy consultancy firm Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC). “Knowledge of company and industry processes, as well as mastery of state-of-the-art technologies, are yet further key criteria – ones that, incidentally, are also significant when it comes to selecting providers.
“Although price is important, for international companies in particular, this service provider know-how and global delivery capability play a crucial role in the success of AM projects,” says PAC.
AMM is relevant to medium-sized businesses
Interestingly, and considering the above, AMM does not only pertain to large enterprises, but is very relevant to medium-sized business, due to its standardised nature.
Again, it lowers risk as users are working with a factory model which has been developed specifically for the industry’s needs. This is a major benefit to organisations that operate in the highly regulated financial services sector.
Users benefit from all the experience gained throughout the years across multiple organisations and their industries.
Lastly, AMM truly serves as a validation tool when it comes to assessing the benefits gained from a modernisation rollout. Most organisations are well aware of how much they spend on support costs – continuous business is testament to a successful AMM strategy, and the various technology components that go with it.
The future
What are the future prospects for AMM? Industrialisation – and with it the issue of re-harnessing of services – will become an increasingly major driver.
Also, the seamless integration with the industry standard for service management, the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) will also involve different, global operating service providers.
In this light, AMM offers a forward-looking service package that provides support to customers in the implementation of innovative business models, and the further development of their ICT landscape, allowing companies to seize market opportunities and increase profitability.
AMM is an engine of non-stop renewal, and represents transformational outsourcing. The model allows companies to realise their organisational infrastructure’s full potential.