Look Beyond Traditional Managed Services to Application Management Services (AMS) for Strategic, Proactive Support

Rohit Gupta
02 Aug, 2021

Before we talk about application management services, consider this. If you’re like most of us, you have an accountant and a financial advisor for your personal finances. If you own or run a business, you likely have a CPA on retainer. You expect them, as experts in their field, to look out for your best interests as their client. Your CPA does your taxes and answers questions but also advises you on how to best structure your finances. The same goes for your financial advisor. It is their job to guide and advise you so you invest wisely.Application Management Services

Now, imagine if your CPA simply took your forms and filed your taxes but did not notice that you should be taking different deductions. If you’re a business, what if your CPA did not notice you would benefit financially by restructuring? Imagine if your financial advisor’s only job was to answer the phone and take orders to buy or sell–without giving you an opinion? What would you lose or miss out on?

What if any of these experts said to you, “I didn’t tell you about that opportunity because you didn’t ask.” You would wonder why you’re paying for their services. You expect the professionals you engage with to have an understanding of you or your business and be invested in protecting you and helping you reach your goals, whether financial, legal, or other. You expect them to look out for you in areas they understand better than you.

Now, apply that to your IT services provider.

If the only services they provide are help desk or emergency requests or even monitoring your systems to prevent downtime, how do you know what you might be missing? If the provider isn’t knowledgeable about your business and your systems and how they operate, how can they inform you of potential opportunities or areas for improvement or concern?

You rely on the experts you engage with

As with any of the professionals you enter into a relationship with to tap into their expertise, you need more than a managed services provider (MSP). You need an application management services (AMS) provider, whose primary role is not just reactive–little more than an order taker or a fire fighter. While being able to react is an important facet, they should also be proactive and strategic, a trusted IT advisor who is always looking out for the health and well-being of your business.

Traditionally, MSPs and AMS providers play more of a support role, which is definitely important. You need to be able to call on experts when you’re having issues with your systems. However, today’s in-house IT teams are under more pressure than ever due to increasing use of complex technology.

They’re getting hit with demands from employees to keep multiple applications and systems up and running–and even customized. That’s a lot of pressure. Not only do IT teams struggle with bandwidth, but also with expertise and training. Does your IT staff has the bandwidth or training to support and optimize every application, system, and platform you depend on?

Why Application Services Management?

According to MarketWatch, the Global Application Management Services Market is anticipated to grow at a rate of more than 22.13% over 2018-2025. The driving factors are the rise in adoption of ready-made solution, emergence of BYOD, proliferation of mobile apps, and the need to align legacy systems with the evolving business structure.

This is exactly why companies today should be shopping for an AMS provider. The key difference: they are proactive and strategic. They are advisors who don’t just focus on break-fix services or monitoring your systems. They also have the deep experience and expertise in your business, your technology, and your industry. With this they can provide you with proactive guidance, insight, and services to help you gain more value from your IT investments.

AMS providers typically provide the following:

  • Understanding your operations, strategic initiatives, goals, and challenges so they watch for ways your technology can support them
  • Working closely with you to establish an IT plan for today as well as down the road based on your desired future state
  • Watching for opportunities to make your systems deliver more value and save you money
  • Keeping an eye out for potential issues which they will work with you to address before they become problems
  • Identifying gaps in your IT capabilities and advising you on how to rectify them
  • Staying up to date on technology developments so they can advise you on when and how to upgrade
  • Understanding the landscape so they can recommend and deploy emerging technologies & services
  • Prolonging the lifespan of your applications

The secret is having the right people on your AMS team

Your business, supporting systems, and IT department are unique; so, too, are your IT requirements. The best AMS provider will customize a team to meet them–all of them. Each team member should have the appropriate experience and expertise to support your business. That team needs to complement your in-house IT staff, dedicated to the way your organization functions, how technology fits into the picture, and how you do business. There are three key areas your AMS should be prepared to cover:

Your business – Each member of your team will need to be intimately familiar with your business, needs, requirements, goals, and challenges. The goal is that anyone you talk to is ready to hit the ground running. By staying up to speed on your business, we can also adjust your team as your needs change. That way, you always have the right people with the right experience and qualifications. Plus, you’re never paying for something you don’t need.

Your industry – Industry experience is a must. Each industry has its own unique processes, regulations, requirements, and standards, and your applications and systems need to be optimized appropriately.

Your technology – Your team needs to have deep experience and expertise in the technology you depend on. If you’re using any version of Dynamics–from CRM and AX to 365–look for experts in those applications, supporting technology like Azure, and productivity tools like Microsoft 365 (Office). If you’re on an older version of Dynamics, it’s especially important that your AMS provider knows how to advise and provide upgrade services.

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