Application Management is accountable for managing applications throughout their lifecycle. The Application Management function is performed by any department, group or team involved in managing and supporting operational applications.
Application Management also plays an important role in the design, testing, and improvement of applications that form part IT services. As such, it may be involved in development projects, but is not usually the same as the Applications Developments teams.
Application Management is to applications what Technical Management is to the IT Infrastructure. Application Management plays a role in all applications, whether purchased or developed in-house. One of the key decisions that they contribute to is the decision of whether to buy an application or build it (This is discussed in detail in the Service Design publication). Once that decision is made, Application Management will play a dual role:
By performing these two roles, Application Management can ensure that the organization has access to the right type a level of human resources to manage application and thus to meet business objectives. This starts in Service Strategy and is expanded in Service Design, tested in Service Transition and refined in Continual Service Improvement. Part of this role is to ensure a balance between the skill level and the cost of these resources. In addition to these two high-level roles, Application Management also performs the following two specific roles:
The objectives of Application Management are not to support the organisations business processes by helping to identify functional and manageability requirements for application software, and then to assist in the design and deployment of those applications and the ongoing support and improvement of those applications.
One of the key decisions in Application Management is whether to buy an application that supports the required functionality, or whether to build the application specifically for the organisation requirements. These decisions are often made by a Chief Technical Officer or steering Committee, but they are dependent on information from many sources. These are discussed in detail in Service Design but are summarized here from an Application Management function perspective.
If the decision is to build the application, a further conclusion needs to be made on whether the development will be outsourced or built using employees. This is detailed in the Service Strategy and Service Design publications, but there are some significant considerations affecting Service Operation.