Supercharging Resiliency in Next-Gen Application Support and Maintenance

16 Oct 2023
by Oliver Nickels

Application Support and Maintenance (ASM) is a discipline within IT systems management that provides support for continuous challenges organizations face following the development and launch of an application.

The ASM landscape is rapidly evolving, driven by technological advancements, changing user expectations and the increasing complexity of applications. In this paper, we will explore the recent ASM trends that are reshaping the way organizations ensure the stability and effectiveness of their applications.

Application development (AD) and application support and maintenance (ASM) are interconnected throughout the application life cycle. Development focuses on creating new or enhancing existing applications based on business needs. Within ASM, maintenance updates the software to the latest version and patches, while support delivers solutions and services to address user questions, provides SLAs on bug reports and develops fixes for issues. ASM covers planned downtimes, unplanned outages, emergency publishing requests, denial of service attacks and significant or minor improvements.

ISG sees a need for change in how organizations should approach ASM. The industry is witnessing a shift from fix-first to avoid-first. More organizations are leveraging insights-driven analytics and moving toward a predict-first approach to ASM. With the rise of AI and ML, analytics and automation, overall application operations are becoming lean and more intelligent.

DevSecOps and Agile methodologies have led to closer integration between development and support teams, fostering collaboration, making IT support organizations agile and faster and allowing them to be more business centric. DevSecOps in the current era partners strongly with AI to use techniques like anomaly detection to identify security threats and automate security policy enforcement, chaos engineering to checkthe system’s ability to survive against unstable and unexpected conditions. Generative AI has opened upopportunities for AI-assisted code generation/conversion resulting in faster defect fixes thereby much-reduced time for problem resolution, directly impacting the cost of operations. These business-aligned operations with a customer-centric focus ensure that support activities are directly working toward the organization’s strategic objectives, leading to an enhanced and improved customer experience.

Cloud computing, automation and advanced tooling have been driving significant transformation and increased resilience in ASM. This shift in focus –from issue resolution to improving engineering maturity –is facilitated by the availability of cloud-based infrastructure and services. Organizations leverage automation tools to proactively monitor, detect and resolve issues, reducing manual effort and response times. Today, Cloud computing extensively uses the power of AI to implement continuous monitoring of performance and health, event correlation, automated deployment and patching, remote management of cloud-hosted apps, and self-healing capabilities.

Advanced tooling enables the implementation of resilient design patterns and practices, such as automated failover and scaling, enhancing application availability and performance. This transformation of ASM creates efficiency benefits that measurably improve customer experience and business outcomes. Automation and AI have emerged as two pivotal pillars to drive transformation. Automation tools can monitor applications in real time, detect issues, apply patches, and perform routine tasks with little to no human intervention. AI technologies like machine learning and neural networks can analyze application behavior, spot anomalies, and predict potential issues. Automation and AI have been directly impacting efficiency, reduction of costs, and a complete proactive support operating model.
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