Managed Application Services 101

A company’s application (or applications) is one of the most important channels for customer service and communication. Depending on what your app might do, it can be a source for collecting customer pain points, a supplemental tool, or be the very foundation of your business itself. No matter what purpose your app serves, it’s critical to ensure it functions effectively, serving and delighting your customers on a consistent basis.

There’s a significant degree of maintenance and upkeep that goes into running a successful app. While it’s certainly possible that an organization can do this themselves, the amount of time and effort it involves can take them away from the other vital functions of running their business. It can lead them to focus more on day-to-day operations and less on high-level strategic decisions that will move the needle in major ways.

That’s why it makes sense to partner with a provider of managed application services. Let’s take a closer look at what managed application services are, why your company would want them, the type of organizations that use them, and how they work.

What are Managed Application Services?

Your application plays an important role in your business. That role will vary depending on the nature and purpose of your app, but you developed it for a reason. Every app requires a certain amount of operational support to ensure it continues running successfully. Managed application services are services provided that keep an app operational while responding to any disruptions or challenges to ensure it stays online.

Managed application services involve maintaining the app, monitoring for bugs, and making the appropriate updates to counteract those bugs. It also involves engaging in modernization efforts and updating release notes so that customers understand critical changes that have been made.

Routine maintenance isn’t the only type of support a managed application services provider can give, however. They can also assist in developing the app itself. They can provide user design and coding support to help the app get from conception to the App Store.

The scope of a managed application services provider you choose will depend on your specific needs as a client. Some require assistance with one app, others need support for multiple apps, databases, or other technology solutions. The specific services can also be applied to other systems, platforms, technologies or services. Again, it depends on the organization and its business requirements.

Why a company would want Managed Application Services?

So what does a company with a need for managed application services look like? Companies that find themselves in a variety of situations may find it advantageous to turn to a managed application services provider. Below are just a few examples of reasons that companies that would want to partner with one:

Staff turnover

If a company has staff who previously supported their applications leave, they may need to supplant that support. A managed application services provider can assist with this need.

Can’t afford expensive IT staff

Having a fully staffed IT department is costly. Along with paying their salaries, you’ll also have to pay for benefits and PTO. Employees require more organizational infrastructure that could eat away at your bottom line.

It’s less expensive to go hourly

By opting for an hourly approach to your IT staffing needs with a managed application services provider, you can save money. Rather than hiring full-time employees, you can hire fractional ones.

Leverage a team of resources

If you hire an IT staff, you may have limited budgetary resources to commit to them. You may only be able to hire one or two individuals, forcing them to cover a multitude of technologies. With a managed application services provider, you can leverage a team of resources with diverse skill sets.

Need to keep up with the latest tech

Managing application services involves maintaining awareness of best practices in the areas of cybersecurity and other tech-related areas. That can be a lot of pressure on your IT staff. With managed application services providers, you can rest assured they’re keeping up to date on the latest trends.

Need insurance coverage

If you do have existing staff, a managed application services provider can act as an insurance policy to bolster your support needs.

A desire to focus on higher-level work

Your team needs the ability to focus on strategic-level tasks as opposed to operational ones. Managed application services providers can complete the more menial work.

What type of organization typically could use Managed Application Services?

If you’re wondering if managed application services are right for your organization, below is a summary of businesses that may benefit from one:

  • A small or mid-sized team that currently has limited IT capabilities
  • Businesses that don’t view application development as one of their core competencies
  • Businesses that want to eliminate excess costs but still require app support
  • Teams that are experiencing high churn rates with their IT staff turnover
  • Organizations that don’t have the budget for full-time IT employees but still have IT application requirements to fulfill

If any of these apply to you, having a team of experts in application development and support might be the right fit for you.

How do Managed Application Services work?

So what can you expect when you sit down with a managed application services provider to reach an agreement? First, you’ll draw up a contract. That contract will include a statement of work that defines:

  • The number, size, and scope of applications to either support and develop
  • The type of support needed
  • A Service Level Agreement (SLA) that defines issue resolution and support hours
  • A minimum number of hours required for support
  • Costs for hourly/monthly support as well as additional costs for any extended services offered

Once terms are agreed on, the provider can begin working with the organization to manage and support their application.

By partnering with the right managed application services provider, you can minimize risks associated with subpar application support. By clearly defining the scope of the expected work, you’ll be sure to establish a solid working relationship with your provider, setting both their team and yours up for success.

Interested in finding the right provider for all of your application service needs? Look no further than the Provato Group. For more on how we can partner with you to revolutionize how you develop and nurture your apps, contact us today.

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