Are you wasting your IT Application Support budget?

Are you wasting your IT Application Support budget?

The concept of Lean is based on eliminating waste from a process. Application Maintenance and Support is one of the largest IT costs for an enterprise. Waste from a large project can have significant short-term impacts. Waste in the Application Support area can far exceed project waste because of the long-term nature of support.

What is Application Maintenance and Support? If you are typical, you have Application Maintenance and Support teams consisting of a fixed number of resources deployed to provide following types of services:

1. Resolution of Incidents and Problems

2. Consultation Services – Answer questions about the operation of the system and provide planning services to customer

3. Scheduled services such as planned enhancements to add capabilities or provide custom one-time access to information

Do you have the right number of people assigned to the support team? How well do you handle spikes in support requirements? Are the support services beneficial or are they simply “busy work” to occupy a fixed team of resources? Are the supported applications providing value to the business?

Most of support activities are short in duration and require detailed knowledge of the system or time-consuming analysis and research. In order to avoid the time-consuming analysis, support teams are typically staffed with knowledgeable experts. It takes so long for a person to learn the application, organizations resist transferring staff which limits staffing flexibility, adds costs, and increases waste.

Support teams are staffed to handle spikes in problems that may occur during peak periods. A spike in enhancement requests may lead to a growing backlog because of the difficulty in orienting staff. A lull in priority work may leave the team under-utilized.

Most support teams encounter the following challenges:

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