Challenges of application preservation
Nowadays, organizations face a greater challenge of being able to preserve existing applications and enable business continuity.
Knowledge of the running applications is crucial in order to preserve continuity. However, it is not rare nowadays that IT departments have to face lack of formal applications documentation, know-how leaving the project (employees getting retired, leaving the company or the department) and lack of trained backup resources who can catch up quickly in case of problem.
Preserving applications and ensuring business continuity has also become through the years one of the most costly activities of IT departments. Making sure that costs remain under control, enabling traceability of changes and a good governance of change in existing applications will decrease the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of these applications and is one of the top-priority objectives of CIOs.
It is also difficult for IT organizations to continue motivating internal staff to maintain existing applications, even if these are business-critical. On the one side, the risk is then to loose people motivation and the possibility to see people leave the department or organization. On the other side, the risk is not to be able to staff enough competence and skills on new critical projects that should deliver the new applications.
Mitigate the risks of software maintenance
In order to meet the objectives of application preservation, organizations have two basic choices.
On the one hand, they can invest in software maintenance and address the challenges themselves. This will mean defining a true strategy regarding knowledge management, staff organization and support, change management and traceability through a service management organization.
On the other hand, they can outsource the risks of software maintenance to a third-party. This will mean organizing a service organization that will be responsible for interacting with the partner. In this case, the way that the organization work with the partner must be cleared out from the beginning, this is a critical success factor. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will show the performance of the partner must also be negotiated clearly beforehand.
Application Management (AM) Services
SAGA Consulting can provide services around application support, service request assistance and application management (maintenance, preservation and evolution).
The services can be performed on the customer’s site or at SAGA Consulting premises (offices in Brussels and in Zonhoven). The services are executed following a clear, pre-determined governance.
The services will be measured according to defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and reported on a regular basis as a formal Service Level Reporting (SLR).
Positioning of SAGA Consulting in the AM market
SAGA Consulting positions itself as an innovative and dynamic Application Management service provider. We cover standard (C, Java, COBOL,…) as more niche (Natstar, TFM,…) technologies.
SAGA Consulting methodology for AM can be customized in order to best respond to the customer’s needs.
Thanks to its size and flat management structure, SAGA Consulting can react quickly in a flexible way to any customer demand.
Anatomy of an AM project
SAGA Consulting starts with an initial investigation phase that will allow the customer to get a first estimate on the feasibility and the cost of the AM.
A series of workshops are then conducted in order to define the scope, governance, environment, KPIs and SLAs, and finally price and workload. A transition period allows SAGA Consulting to capture and re-formalize knowledge of the applications.
Maintenance period is sub-divided in smaller periods (typically 6 months) after which the workload is re-evaluated according to statistics and estimates.
At the end, a handover can be executed in order for the customer to regain control of the application being maintained.