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Application Management Lifecycle

From an operational perspective, we are primarily interested in the overall management of applications as part of IT services.  These can be developed in-house or purchased off the self from third party developers. Because of our operational point of view, and the focus on ensuring these services/applications are delivered with both utility and warranty, we look at their support from a more holistic approach and use what is referred to as the “Application Management Lifecycle”. It sequences through six stages or steps which are: Requirements, Design, Build, Deploy, Operate and Optimize. 

Requirements: Requirements for new applications are garnered, based on business/customer needs and takes place primarily during services design.  There are six types of requirements for any application
    • Functional requirements
    • Manageability requirements
    • Usability requirements
    • Architectural requirements
    • Interface requirements
    • Service Level requirements

Design:  At this point the requirements get transformed into specifications. In the case of in-house developed applications this will include design of the software itself, the environment the application has to run on.  Here architectural considerations are critical.  If the software is being purchased, we will likely not have input into the design, but must be able to have feedback on functionality, manageability and performance of the package.

Build: If building the software, the application components are coded, integrated and tested.  Testing is done both in the build and deploy stages.  In the build stage the focus is on the ability of the application to meet functionality and manageability requirements. If software is being purchased this will be when this takes place.  Any additional/supporting software or hardware will also be purchased at this time.

Deploy: At this stage the application will be deployed along with the operational model (release package).  Testing again takes place but here the focus is ensuring the deployment process and mechanisms operate appropriately.  We also test the application in the live environment to ensure that it is meeting its intended functionality (early life support).

Operate: Services (applications are just one of the components) are being delivered as part of normal operations.  Performance is being continually monitored and measured to enable effective management of the service delivery and ensure key business drivers are being met.

Optimize: Measurements are being analyzed and CSI is being acted upon.  Because of this and the circular nature of the Application Management life cycle, this same application can have multiple iterations at different stages at the same time.

In a mature ITSM organization, and given various business and ITSM requirements, operational staff can play many of the key roles in some or all of the stages. 

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