Application Management processes guide how business applications are developed, managed, improved, and when necessary, sunset. ITIL takes a traditional approach and adds Operate and Optimize to the standard Software Development Lifecycle.
The components of the lifecycle are:
Work with the business units to identify the functional and business process requirements for the change or new application. During this process, initial service level requirements will be identified.
The application team translates the requirements into a technical solution. At this point a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study is performed to identify development and ongoing support costs. Input from a number of other IT areas is included in developing the costs, such as Service Level Management, Capacity Management and Financial Management, and the results are shared with business leaders for approval. In many cases a negotiation process occurs, where requirements and service levels are fine-tuned in order to adjust costs to the level the business can afford.
This is the actual application coding and testing process. All the components and flows will be developed and tested both individually and systemically to uncover any functional and process flaws. Once final quality testing has been completed, management sign-offs are gathered to permit the new functions to be introduced into the production environment.
This covers the roll-out of the new application. Not only would this process include the movement of application modules into production libraries, it would also include any customer training required to effectively and efficiently use the new facilities.
This process step covers the day-to-day "care and feeding" of the new application. Changes in regulatory requirements would be addressed in this step. If end users uncover flaws in the application, they are addressed in this step. In addition, service levels are monitored and application performance is measured and reported. When service levels are missed, this process step outlines the step-by-step actions required to address the problem. In all cases, the goal of this process is to minimize the impacts on the business of issues to normal application operation.
This is the last step in the iterative Application Management process. Both functional and performance optimization are addressed in this step. Performance Management teams analyze applications to identify any performance improvement opportunities. Capacity planners employ simulation tools to uncover future application bottlenecks well in advance of them impacting business users. Application teams work with customers and end users to ensure process flows continue to satisfy needs and make adjustments where necessary.
IT Infrastructure planners can employ the TeamQuest Predictor simulation tool to more closely approximate the IT infrastructure resources required to support ongoing operations of a new or changed application. In many cases an existing application can be used as a template when defining a new application's resource consumption patterns. In other cases, basic application functionality information can be manually input into the simulation tool. More precise cost estimates can be developed as a result of using the tool, enabling better decision making before development processes start. This results in cost avoidance in cases where identified application costs exceed the business benefits.
TeamQuest Analyzer can be employed in the various testing steps. For changes to existing applications, testing data can be gathered and compared to previous iterations to quickly provide "before and after" views. Adverse impacts can be detected earlier in the development process and appropriate actions taken, reducing costs and lost productivity that is normally incurred when uncovered late in the development or deployment process. For new applications, the data can be used to refine the original infrastructure requirements and to measure against the TCO. Where disparities occur, management can make more informed decisions on how to proceed with the development activities.
TeamQuest Surveyor can be employed to report on application performance. Actual application performance can be compared to Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and where anomalies occur, affected business units can be notified and corrective actions commissioned.
It is possible to quickly identify trends that will subsequently impact customers, permitting IT teams to quickly address them. Results of this work allows computer operations management to more quickly respond to application performance and availability problems, reducing productivity impacts on customers and end users.
The entire TeamQuest Performance Software suite can be employed to uncover performance improvement opportunities and future bottlenecks. Appropriate corrective actions can then be commissioned and monitored. Through the use of our tools, you can reduce the amount of IT infrastructure resources an application consumes, thus extending the life of existing IT assets and avoiding costly upgrades.