Automation Enterprise Services

Unlocking business value through transformation led AMS in the current digital age

By: | Rajasekhar Marrivada

Publish Date: April 24, 2019

The complexity and diversity of IT landscapes today are ensuring that nearly 65% of the IT budgets are being spent on managing/maintaining them. These cost-intensive initiatives are getting IT management teams into the line of fire when presenting to business leaders. By getting sucked deep into the weeds of menial fire-fighting, companies often miss out on transformational benefits that can accrue from well-strategized application management initiatives.

Gartner has predicted that by the end of 2019, IT service desks using machine learning technologies and artificial intelligence will free up almost 30 percent of the global support capacity. But to drive real value, a relentless focus on innovation and transformation is the only way to distinguish oneself within a group of peers who are continually doing the same.
The need for a Next-Generation AMS
It would have been great if there was a simple way to reset the expectations for businesses, and remain solely focused on new and innovative programs. Sadly, that’s not how it works. The path to managing diverse applications that can be run and improved at the same time requires overhauling the approach itself.  These include processes, systems, and people – being aligned with the vision of keeping applications management intimately connected to work-in-progress innovations and improvements.
Applications are at the core of digital transformation. Akin to every new technology service, AMS is also evolving rapidly to align with fast-paced and continuously changing business environment. Next generation AMS is combining the strategic need for value enrichment, cost optimization and driving business user satisfaction with powered tools like RPA, machine learning, cognitive computing, and other AI technologies. New layers of methodologies are slowly overtaking the traditional models which are still firmly entangled in process descriptions, service level agreements (SLAs) of fixed-price contracts. These continuous and simultaneous changes have prompted the AMS project teams to redefine how they deliberate their budgets in conjunction with sourcing new opportunities.
Some of the ‘characteristics of next-gen AMS would include:

  1. Not just outsourcing vendor, but a reliable transformation partner: An application portfolio is as good as the degree of influence as well as the functional relevance it has to deliver the desired business outcomes. Rather than the typical business continuity support function, the next-gen AMS is tailored in direct contrast to the pressure CIOs and IT teams face to accelerate innovation, embrace transformation and advance core business objectives.
  2. Increased complexities demand flexible response: If your applications are failing and nobody knows, your IT team is going to act more as an ambulance rather than focusing on proactive preventative measures. In the world of on-premise, cloud-based data, shared resources and protective layers of verification-based access, the day-to-day mode need not be crisis driven and reactive. Overcoming this blind-spot offers tremendous value towards end business results and limit unnecessary hassles.
  1. Zero maintenance strategy: A zero-maintenance target is a driver for improved deliveries and enables organisations to imagine beyond the ‘effort-savings’ mantra for CapEx and OpEx. For this to succeed a clear digital transformational strategy supported by strong governance structure as well as consistent monitoring and improvisational system must be put in place.
  2. Enhanced end-user experience, collaboration and improved service quality: Next gen AMS will deliver consistent user experience that finds that fine balance between function, form and usability of the applications. Customer self-service through Artificial intelligence and enhanced collaboration is a significant value-add that next gen AMS offers, reducing operational and maintenance costs as well as risks.
  3. Simplifying IT application landscape and driving down complexity – IT landscapes of companies has become complex, technologically diverse and geographically disperse. This poses a significant challenge for IT leadership given the need to reduced cost and complexity. While it is challenging to mitigate this almost universal problem, application rationalization and modernization roadmap for applications based on a whole variety of technology and business parameters is something that next gen AMS can help deliver. This exercise could be done at the beginning or during the course of engagement.

 Measuring the value generated by AMS: Moving from SLAs to BLAs
As companies climb up the AMS value chain, measurement metrics need to be sharper and more holistic. Service level agreements (SLAs) are metrics that track performance against technical service requirements. While they are useful in many situations, they do not address all aspects of the metrics puzzle. A better approach is to shift the focus on business outcomes.
Essentially, Business level Agreements (BLA) ) are differentiated from SLAs owing to focus on efficient deployment, optimisation of resources and delivery led business outcomes. Businesses need to view applications management as a core capability linked tightly to continuous IT improvisations and innovation.
A multi-pronged transformation roadmap for businesses – the way forward
AMS is at cross-roads with IT leaders dealing with the paradox of dwindling budgets with an imperative to balance the same with the need to spend on business innovation.  AMS can emerge as a substantial budgetary blind spot. Traditional AMS approaches will not be able to provide high levels of visibility and control that CIOs require alongside the need to optimize modernize and transform their organisation.
The name of the game is innovation. Faster service deliveries, personalised customer demands, short time-to-market and constantly evolving customer experiences are hallmarks of next-gen AMS models. This requires leaders to proactively position themselves in a new digital context, where business and IT solutions move hand-in-hand, in sync for end-to-end transformation by linking the right talent and building a culture of collaboration that breeds new ideas and opportunities.
Revenue alignment, strategic growth, and disruptive innovation point to the need for a strategic transformation partner that intuitively understands client needs and meets them head-on.
Rajasekhar Marrivada
Asst. Vice President YASH Technologies

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