Businesses thriving in the digital age tend to accumulate a multitude of enterprise applications that the IT staff must wrangle individually. The pursuit of more efficient and intuitive software tools serving each arm of a mid-sized or large enterprise may create a pool of solutions from many developers. Often, they run independently, hoarding critical data in departmental silos. Where one inefficiency may be cured, another is born.
Managing your applications and data remotely with an outsourced IT partner can take the enterprise application management burden off internal staff, freeing them to focus on projects that define the purpose of your business. This is especially so with the meteoric ascent of cloud computing. The growing number of businesses availing themselves of cloud computing solutions hint at the power of outsourcing. Should you decide to follow suit, these five tips will help your enterprise manage applications with a skilled, professional IT partner.
1. Determine If the Partner Can Increase Your Productivity and Profits
As with any competitive industry, not all providers are created equal. Outsourcing won’t make sense if it doesn’t align workflow and save money. By teaming with a skilled IT partner, you can simplify operations, increase efficacy and cut expensive downtime from application or infrastructure outages. An experienced, full-service provider brings specialized knowledge which is cost-prohibitive to acquire and maintain in-house, and allows you to pay only for the resources you need, as you need them. Your IT partner should contribute to your bottom line, not the other way around.
2. Select a Partner That Can Enable Hybrid or On-Premise Cloud
If your enterprise must comply with strict data regulations that prevent the usage of the public cloud for some or all of your applications, you’ll need an IT provider that can provision your organization with an on-premise or hybrid cloud. Those applications that are safe to deploy on the public cloud relieve you of hardware acquisition and maintenance, saving you resources. For those you must host on-premise, your partner should have the tools to integrate seamlessly in the application management process without compromising your regulatory compliance.
3. Don’t Skimp on Cyber Security Options
One very important advantage of outsourcing your IT and enterprise application management is the expanded access to complete cyber security. Hacker ploys and malware evolve rapidly, such that most IT departments often lag behind. But the right outsourced manager of your applications will have cyber security experts on board who watch out for your business to keep your applications and databases out of the reach of criminals.
4. Specify Tools that Leverage Data Science and Machine Learning
Exciting developments in cloud computing include data analysis, enabling business intelligence derived from your data and from collaborative procedures. Machine learning also helps fine-tune predictive analytics. With a partner tapping into these capabilities on your behalf, you may gain a competitive edge by understanding patterns well before they become a firefighting issue. Plus, the clear and comprehensive overview of your data may reveal correctable process bottlenecks that needlessly consume budget resources. The tools can also serve as a single source of truth for you and your partner. Select the tools yourself and make sure your partner uses them in their service delivery.
5. Ensure Your IT Partner Can Respond Rapidly to Incidents
Once you’ve made the transition, your applications should run without business disruption most of the time. However, incidents that require rapid resolution may still occur. Be sure your IT partner has the skill sets and coverage to respond quickly should a problem arise. One of the many benefits to outsourcing is engaging a larger IT team that keeps tabs on your applications and processes even when your internal team can’t. Be sure to select an IT partner dedicated to handling infrastructure failures even if your internal team has left for the day.
Keeping a large in-house team running your information technology infrastructure and applications can be far more costly than it needs to be. As cloud computing, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS coalesce into a hybrid infrastructure for your enterprise applications, your organization could enjoy greater security, minimal disruptions, increased productivity and even significant cost savings with an intelligent approach to applications management.