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Partner TechTip: Five Factors Influencing Application Management

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Don't let the amount of information that ERP and HA applications generate negatively impact your reaction times. Know the areas you need to proactively control.

 

When it comes to managing ERP and HA applications, you need a proactive plan in place to ensure that your business applications are available when expected, that routine tasks have completed as scheduled, and most importantly, that any exceptions have been captured and are being handled by the appropriate resource before they impact the business.

 

Applications management can be defined as the provision of services and support for applications systems throughout their entire lifecycle. In a perfect world, installing an application would be a case of fit and forget. Unfortunately, and sometimes by bitter experience, we all know that life is just not like that.

 

In the case of complex ERP installations, the situation can be compounded by connectivity issues, the fragmentation of components, and localization constraints.

 

Typically, during a three-year ERP application lifecycle, up to 90 percent of the time is taken up with ongoing management, maintenance, and functionality issues. These activities have a serious impact on your time and resources. Meanwhile, the business demands that a constant stream of information be captured within the application.

 

So, what are the common constraints in providing adequate and consistent management of your business applications?

 

Halcyon has identified five key areas that you need to be able to control in order to manage and monitor your ERP and HA applications effectively.

 

1. Complexity of Change

It's common knowledge that ERP implementations are complex right from the get-go, even with thorough planning and a tested roll-out strategy in place. In the initial phases of implementation, you're likely to know each application's key elements where you need to keep a close watch.

 

2. Connectivity

When you're working with ERP software, it's not uncommon for you to come across fragmented applications, which may be spread over a variety of operating platforms and which all need to send and receive information to the central database.

 

3. Scalability

Company acquisitions, mergers, and global expansion all add to the number of components, connections, and databases that you need to manage and monitor. Along with this increased level of activity come further requests for more diverse information as the implementation now includes areas of the business that were previously excluded from your area of responsibility.

 

4. Specialist Knowledge

One of the most difficult decisions you have to make when applying monitoring to ERP applications is that, without specialist knowledge, how do you know what's important? The complexity and scale of such installations mean that a vast quantity of data needs to be closely monitored.

 

Many companies that have undertaken an ERP implementation have found that limited resources with specialist knowledge exist, especially if the solution has been heavily customized to suit the organization. Even if adequately sourced, hiring this specialist help has a real and lasting impact on the ROI of the ERP solution.

 

5. Maintenance and Performance

Companies often underestimate the amount of change that comes with deploying an ERP solution. Once it's in place, there's a constant flow of changes requested by the business, system updates, patches from the application vendor, and many minor updates and changes to contend with each year.

 

Even if you have a vigorous change control process in force, it's all too easy to miss subtle changes in system delivery and performance brought about by the multitude of changes.

 

Automated Monitoring

So, how can you combat these restrictions and prove to your business management that you have every base covered and are in a position to quickly react to any level of changefrom a complex integration of a new application to a routine maintenance patch of existing software?

 

By taking a proactive approach and deploying an automated monitoring solution that incorporates a proven set of intelligent business templates to look after the business-critical elements of your ERP and HA applications, you remove the time-consuming and labor-intensive requirements of monitoring to maximize system availability to the business.

 

Additionally, monitoring by exception means that you're alerted only to events that are out of the ordinary, allowing you to react to and fix issues even when you're not at your desk and often before users are aware there was a problem. This leaves you more time to concentrate your knowledge and resources on other projects that are more beneficial to the business.

 

To discover the top seven benefits an automated monitoring solution can bring to your business, be sure to read the How to Effectively Manage and Monitor Your Business Applications white paper.

Ashley Giddings

With more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry and coming from an operational background, Ash Giddings is a technically astute Product Manager. He has worked for some of the largest data centers in Europe and in the U.S. has advised large companies on major projects to save costs and improve efficiencies. He began his career on IBM Mainframe before moving onto midrange systems such as IBM i and AIX and then Windows and Linux. His technical background has enabled him to find solutions for challenging IT problems.

 

Ash is a regular speaker at international conferences and industry events.

 

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