July 23, 2024
Managed Application Services

Managed Application Services: Taking the Pain Out of managing Business Critical Applications

As businesses grow and become more reliant on technology, managing a complex IT infrastructure and various business applications can become a huge challenge. It not only requires significant resources and expertise but also disrupts core business operations. That’s where managed application services come into play by taking the headaches out of maintaining and supporting critical business applications.

What are managed application services?
A managed application service (MAS) is a model where the responsibility of managing and maintaining specific business applications is outsourced to a third-party managed service provider (MSP). Under this arrangement, the MSP takes ownership of monitoring, maintaining updates and managing the day to day operations of the identified applications while freeing up internal IT resources to focus on more strategic priorities.

Key benefits of managed application services
There are several compelling benefits for organizations that adopt Managed Application Services:

Reduced IT costs: By outsourcing non-core application management responsibilities, businesses can significantly reduce their IT maintenance and support costs. Managed service providers are able to achieve economies of scale and provide services more efficiently. This translates to savings of up to 30% on ongoing operational costs.

Access to technical expertise: MSPs have deep technical know-how and specialize in managing specific applications. They deploy certified professionals who are experts in that platform. This ensures issues are resolved fast by people who are highly skilled in troubleshooting the application architecture.

Proactive monitoring: Under managed application services models, MSPs closely monitor applications, infrastructure and performance metrics 24×7 using automated tools. They can proactively detect and address issues before they materialize into outages or problems. This improves reliability, enhances user experience and productivity.

Increased agility and scalability: With outsourced management, organizations gain flexibility to scale up or down managed applications on demand without needing to hire or build internal capabilities. MSPs have the right tools and processes to quickly adapt to changing business requirements.

Risk mitigation: Handling critical applications in-house poses risks like security breaches, data loss or compliance issues. MSPs implement rigorous controls, disaster recovery plans and adhere to the latest security best practices to minimize such risks for their customers.

Key elements of managed application services
For realizing true value, managed application services need to encompass the following vital components:

Application management: This includes day-to-day maintenance of applications like managing upgrades/patches, configuring settings, onboarding/offboarding users, addressing functional issues.

Monitoring and support: MSPs monitor applications, infrastructure and performance with specialized tools to detect anomalies proactively. They provide 24×7 application support through centralized helpdesk.

Infrastructure management: Critical for applications to run smoothly. MSPs manage underlying infrastructure components like servers, storage, networking, databases.

Security management: Enforcing best practices to secure applications against cyber threats, configuring firewalls and access controls, conducting security audits.

Optimization and performance: Tuning application parameters, conducting health checks periodically, optimizing databases to ensure peak performance levels.

Compliance management: Ensuring managed applications adhere to compliance standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR etc. through implementing required controls and documentation.

Reporting and analytics: MSPs provide usage reports, metrics on application performance, security incidents, issues and compliance status so customers remain informed.

Popular applications commonly outsourced:
Some of the most widely adopted applications that organizations usually outsource as managed application services include:

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions: SAP, Oracle Apps
CRM (Customer Relationship Management): Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics
HCM/HRMS (Human Capital Management): ADP, Workday, Oracle HCM
Content management: Microsoft SharePoint
Collaboration: Office 365, Google Apps
Industry specific apps: Healthcare apps, Banking/Financial services apps
Custom or legacy apps: Organization’s proprietary/older bespoke applications

Choosing the right MSP partner
For businesses to get full benefits from managed application services, choosing the right MSP partner is critical. Key factors to consider include:

– Experience in managing required applications
– Security certifications and processes followed
– Infrastructure support capabilities
– Monitoring and SLAs provided
– Expertise and certifications of people/teams assigned
– Pricing and commercial model flexibility
– References from existing customers
– Contract terms and exit strategy

As businesses transform digitally, outsourcing non-core yet crucial application management responsibilities to specialized MSPs through a managed application services model allows them to stay agile while focusing on strategic objectives. It significantly reduces cost, enhances reliability and mitigates risks associated with in-house application management.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it