Application management can be a burden even for the most well-resourced IT teams. There is a pressure to offer a plethora of applications to keep users productive.
The result is that IT face a relentless flow of admin-heavy work simply to keep the portfolio of applications running. This involves running deploying and managing hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications. Keeping on top of updates is one of the biggest challenges of application management.
The resource challenge of application management
It is not only updates that put a strain on resources when managing applications. The performance of unsupported applications or those that have been customised for an organisation can degrade over time.
For IT, this means an investigation of the cause of the failure, which could be due to the network, servers, databases, or the actual application.
This causes a particular challenge, because this kind of investigation therefore needs to transcend technology and business organisation boundaries to find the solution.
Managing applications in the cloud
Running a multi-cloud environment adds further complexity. Many legacy application monitoring tools are beginning to struggle to effectively scan both on-premise and public cloud based infrastructure.
For IT, this makes it more difficult to solve issues with applications hosted in the cloud. The result is slower response times, application downtime and security vulnerabilities.
Visibility and the issue of ownership are the main challenges with managing applications in the public cloud. Visibility is difficult because of the lack of a holistic view of the whole application ecosystem.
Defining responsibilities can also be difficult across applications and cloud management. This is because as well as crossing organisational boundaries, this responsibility can also cross application management, governance, compliance and security functions. Throw in the fact that some aspects of the applications are managed by the vendor while others are managed locally, and the complexity of the challenge becomes clearer.
The security aspect of application management
Coupled with this, there is also the risk of security breaches if updates are applied in a timely fashion. If a tight schedule of updates is not followed, hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in applications security in a matter of days. This is when ransom attacks can be executed by locking organisations out of their own data and infrastructure.
Because application management can be so resource-heavy, some IT teams find it difficult to stay on top of update schedules for running the critical updates required to close loopholes.
As a result, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has posted advice about the security risks that out of date applications pose to British firms. The guidance focuses around the need to run patch updates, ideally within 14 days to ensure new security features are running as soon as possible.
How can application management services help?
Expert application management services help organisations efficiently deploy and manage third party or in-house software applications. With easily-deployable desktop and server application packages, software patches and other dependencies can be deployed without the user’s machine being physically present.
Application management services also help reduce the overheads required for moving to new software versions or replacing applications that are no longer supported by the vendor. This can be particularly troublesome when applications have been customised from the off-the-shelf version. Application services mitigate licensing issues and the need to re-train large numbers of users. In a previous blog, we outlined some best practices for balancing security with user productivity across many applications (How application services help prevent security vulnerabilities – and much more).
Find out more
ORIIUM’s application workshops provide personalised advice for deploying and managing applications. From shutting down security vulnerabilities to troubleshooting legacy applications, you can benefit from best practices for managing your environment.