Application Management

When I teach ITIL V3 Foundation classes I often have to make the distinction between Application Management which is one of the “Service Operation Functions” and Application Development.

I often begin my discussion by explaining that Application Development is responsible for the actual development and building of applications by the developers. Application Management is responsible for managing applications throughout their lifecycle and is performed by any department, group or team that is involved in managing and supporting operational applications. Additionally the function also plays a role in the design, testing and improvement of applications that form part of IT services.

Application Management plays a key role in all applications whether purchased from a third party manufacturer or developed by in-house staff. During the design stage of the ITIL Lifecycle one of the key decisions made by Application Development is whether to buy or build. After that decision is made Application Management plays dual roles:
  • Custodians of technical knowledge and expertise in the managing of all applications. They work alongside of Technical Management to ensure that the knowledge required to design, test, manage and improve IT services is identified, developed and refined.
  •  IT also provides the actual resources to support the ITSM Lifecycle. It ensures that resources are effectively trained and deployed to design, build, transition, operate and improve the technology required to deliver and support IT services.

 A “Critical Success Factor” for Application Management is to ensure a balance between the skill level of the resources involved and the cost of those resources. This is accomplished by:
  • Providing guidance to IT Operations on how to best implement ongoing operational management of applications done both in Service Design and IT Operations.
  • Integration of the Application Management Lifecycle into the ITSM Lifecycle.
This is supported by specific objectives within Application Management and the Application Management Lifecycle which will be discussed in an upcoming Blog.


Paul DiBello said…
The distinction between management and development can often be blurred, especially when projects proceed by incremental delivery to production. How is this understood by ITSM?

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