What is Application Management in ITIL ITSM?
Application Management is one of the main functions under ITIL’s Service Operation process group of IT Service Management (ITSM) framework. ITIL Application Management describes a set of best practices required to manage and improve applications through their life-cycle. This function supports and maintains operational applications and as well as helps in the designing, testing and improving the quality of applications. Though ITIL Application Management is very closely related to Incident Management process, it has its operations spread through other processes as well. Throughout the lifecycle, it interacts with Catalogue Management, Capacity Management, Availability Management, Release Management, Service Validation & Testing, Configuration Management, Request Fulfillment, and Continual Service Improvement. Refer to the lifecycle figure given below.
ITIL Application Management Objective:
According to ITIL v3, The primary objective of ITIL Application Management Function is to manage and improve applications throughout their lifecycle. This ITIL function helps in designing, testing, operating and improving IT services, as well as plays an important role in developing the required skills for operating the organization's applications.
ITIL Application Management Life-Cycle Activities:
As defined by ITIL v3, Application Management is divided into six lifecycle activities or stages:
1> Define: The requirements for a new application are generated based on the business requirements.
2> Design: It is the stage during which requirements are transformed into specifications for the IT components that are to be developed. This stage includes the design of the application itself and the design of the runtime environment.
3> Build: This is the development phase to produce both the actual application and the operational model. In this stage, the Application components are coded, integrated and tested. Any customization that is required is done during this phase.
4> Deploy: Both the operational model and the application are released and deployed into live operation. This is the phase where this function interacts with Release and Deployment Management process.
5> Operate: This stage is the actual operational stage of the Application, where the real users start to use the application. Here the application's service quality is measured by its overall performance and key points are noted for the purpose of service improvement.
6> Optimize: This stage analyzes the results of the Service Level performance measured in "Operate" stage, and improvement actions are planned. If required it again transfers the control to the “Define” or “Design” stage for working on improvement plans.
The below figure describes those stages and their interaction with other ITIL processes:
Important Terminologies & Definitions:
Skills Inventory: The Skills Inventory aims to identify the skills required to deliver IT services, and as well as identify those individuals who possess those skills. The Skills Inventory act as a foundation for developing training plans for individual employees.
Important Roles in ITIL Application Management:
Applications Analyst: The Applications Analyst is the main role in ITIL Application Management Function, who manages applications throughout their lifecycle. Depending on the organization size there may have one Applications Analyst or an entire team of analysts deployed for every key application. This role has the overall responsibility for designing, testing, operating and improving IT services. Applications Analysts also maintain the “Skills Inventory”, required to deliver and operate IT services.
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