Application Lifecycle Management
IRLCA’s Application Management services ensures your companies applications are consistently managed in line with business requirements, including any business requirement for regulatory compliance. We work closely with application support teams to maximize application performance, reliability, availability and value to the business.
We ensure all application management tasks are accurately completed, on-time and in accordance with approved procedures. We collaborate efficiently and professionally with the business and infrastructure teams to complete all relevant application management tasks with minimum disruption. See the section below for a summary of the application management services provided.
The aim of Problem Management is to identify the root cause of all incidents in each incident categories, e.g. minor, recurring, major etc. and put in place strategies to reduce incidents in all categories to zero.
We ensure all incidents are categorized correctly, analyse each category and put in place the necessary corrective actions such as enhanced user training, application modifications, enhanced support, infrastructure modifications etc.
Identity and Access Management
The security and integrity of corporate computerized assets, including information/data assets, is protected through Identity and Access Management. Application interactions must be properly authenticated and authorized.
We ensure each application users is approved to access the system and has an approved and defined role within the application. We manage all necessary user account reviews, paying attention to the management of emergency accounts and users who change position or leave the company.
The Change Management process ensures the application state is constantly controlled. This is particularly important when the application operates in a regulated environment.
We coordinate all changes to the application, ensuring changes are approved at the relevant stages, properly assessed for impact and risk, implemented and tested correctly in the required environments (DEV, TEST and PROD), deployed in waves as appropriate and only promoted to the PROD environment when the necessary approvals are obtained and the user base is appropriately notified and trained. Before change close out we ensure all change tasks are appropriately completed
Capacity Management ensures the application has sufficient resources to meet agreed business demand.
We ensure the application will not suffer an unexpected failure due to limited resources by monitoring resources such as CPU, memory capacity, disk capacity, database, network, usage, etc. When a resource exceeds an appropriate warning level we put in place agreed steps to increase the appropriate resource or agree new ways of working to ensure resource utilization does not reach critical levels
Security Management during the operational phase of an application typically focuses on 3 key elements namely, Prevention, Detection and Response. Specialist teams employing various methods and tools constantly review and scan corporate assets looking for vulnerabilities and threats.
We assist in protecting the security of an application by ensuring the application and its associated infrastructure are constantly being appropriately scanned for vulnerabilities and threats, all identified vulnerabilities and threats are appropriately assessed and all relevant prevention steps are successfully actioned.
Application Document Management ensures the continued availability of all application lifecycle documentation and further ensures this documentation is managed in accordance with relevant document management processes.
We catalogue all application documentation, recording document references, title, authors/approvers and storage location. We review all relevant document management processes and ensure each application document fully complies with the appropriate document management processes.
Audit Trail Review
Audit Trails are periodically reviewed to ensure there is no inappropriate use of the application, particularly in relation to the actions taken by privileged accounts.
We will periodically review the application audit trail to verify it is configured and operating correctly. In addition we review the audit trails looking for unusual events and inappropriate use of the application, particularly in relation to the usage of administrator accounts.
A deviation may be raised against an application during it’s lifetime in operation. Such deviations must be managed in accordance with the approved deviation management process.
We ensure all deviations are managed in accordance with the approved deviations management processes, all relevant business and compliance personnel are informed, all remediation actions are appropriately approved and all deviation actions are correctly addressed. In cases where the deviation leads to a corrective or preventative action we ensure these corrective and preventative actions are appropriately addressed.
In most industries it is a requirement that all personnel involved in application support or application management are appropriately trained.
We ensure a training curriculum is prepared/approved for all application support and application management personnel. We review the training records for all application support and application management personnel to ensure all required training is successfully completed. Where appropriate we take the necessary actions to assist all relevant personnel to complete all outstanding training.
Application Management aims to ensure the application is managed in accordance with all relevant and approved application management processes.
We ensure an Audit Readiness pack is prepared for the application. Prior to an audit this pack will be used to ensure all application management activities are successfully executed. During an audit this pack will be used to address any questions or issues raised by the auditor. After an audit the pack will be updated based on any lessons learnt during the audit.
An application instance is created by deploying operating system and application software on appropriate computer hardware.
We ensure the installation software used during the installation process for the operating system and application software are catalogued and securely store for any future requirements, including any requirement to rebuild the application.
Disaster Recovery Management
Disaster Recovery Management is a key component of a corporate Business Continuity Plan. In the context of an application, Disaster Recovery Management ensures the application and all its associated data can be successfully recovered in the event of disaster.
We assist in minimising the effects of a disaster by ensuring a Disaster Recovery Plan is in place for the application, the Disaster Recovery Plan provides a realistic/effective/efficient recovery solution, individuals with a role in disaster recover have offline access to the Disaster Recovery Plan, the Disaster Recovery Plan is periodically exercised at the correct level to verify effectiveness, the Disaster Recovery Plan is updated to respond to systems changes/outcome of testing, all relevant equipment is accessible in the event of a disaster and all individuals with a role in disaster recovery are appropriately trained.
Knowledge is a critically important company asset and is used in all areas of successful application management. Relevant knowledge must be identified, collected, securely stored and made easily accessible as required.
We collect all knowledge including, business requirements, lifecycle documentation, supplier information, problem analysis etc. We index all knowledge artifacts, store and make them available in a consistent way and ensure they remain company owned assets.
Each application has a defined lifecycle with 3 key phases including, Scope/Seek Phase, Solve Phase and Operate Phase. During the Solve Phase the application instance is delivered by the project team.
We assist in the Lifecycle Management of the application by verifying all required activities are successfully completed prior to the Operate Phase, this is achieved by completing a well-defined handover process from the project team. We further ensure all necessary activities are conducted during the Operate Phase and at the end of the lifecycle we ensure the application is appropriately retired.
The behaviour of an application has many dependencies, including the system architecture, the associated infrastructure, the version of all system software/firmware and the configuration of all these hardware and software components. Configuration Management aims to maintain a record of the entire system configuration.
We maintain the configuration of an application by ensuring the configuration is appropriately assessed and documented during all stages of the system life cycle (especially during system changes) and by periodically reviewing the system’s actual configuration and its components against the current documented configuration.
Patch Management is a process of applying incremental firmware/software updates to relevant infrastructure and application components, typically in response to unexpected system behaviour or security threats.
We ensure all available application patches are known and appropriately assess against business and security requirements. Where appropriate we ensure all relevant patches are implemented in accordance with the relevant Change Management process.
Financial and Contract Management
Financial Management for an application ensures the necessary funds to operate, enhance or modify the application are appropriately budgeted, forecasted and consumed. Contract Management ensures a contact is in place for all companies providing application support/management services.
We assist accurate and efficient financial management by ensuring all required funds are accurately assessed/included in the budgeting preparing processes and as required application spend is appropriately forecast/recorded. We ensure all necessary application support/maintenance contract are approved and are in place.
Backup and Recovery Management
Backup and Restore Management plays a vital role in Data Integrity and the ongoing availability of an application. Modern backup solutions offer an exciting but complex range of backup solutions.
We help protect Data Integrity and system availability by ensuring a backup solution is selected to meet business requirements, a backup specification is developed/approved/implemented, a backup schedule is developed/approved/implemented, all backup logs are regularly reviewed and periodically confirming the ability to successfully restore the application/application data.
Licence Management ensures continued access to the application for the duration identified by the business and protects the company from legal recourse due to the inappropriate use of licenced software.
We catalogue the licence requirements for all components of an application an ensure an appropriate licence is in place. We evaluate the usage of the application and recommend changes to the licences type, as appropriate, to ensure licence costs are minimized.
Retirement Management is the final stage in the application lifecycle and appropriate step must be taken to ensure relevant application data is accessible during the retention period defined by business requirements.
When an application reaches the retirement phase we ensure a Decommissioning Plan is prepared/approved for the application retirement, the Decommissioning Plan details all relevant steps such as verification of access to relevant data post decommissioning, the Decommissioning Plan is successfully executed and a Decommissioning Report summarizing the decommissioning activities is prepared and approved.
Application Roadmap Management ensures the planned use of the application is consistent with business requirements and the suppliers application roadmap.
We liaise with the supplier of the application to understand the overall supplier upgrade strategy and any planned feature upgrades, additions or deprecations. We review new business requirements and coordinate the development of an application Roadmap that responds appropriately to any changing business requirements and the plans of the supplier
Application Reporting provides a detailed report on all Application Support and Application Management activities. An Application Report provides the relevant stakeholders with a regular view of the performance of the application.
We prepare the Application Report on a periodic basis. We liaise with the Application Support team to include an accurate analysis of all application incidents and we report on all application management activities. The Application Report is issued to all relevant stakeholders and when appropriate a meeting is arranged to discuss.
Availability Management ensures the application is available for use in line with the agreed expectations of the business.
We assist in Availability Management by taking the necessary steps to ensure the application is available when required by the business, planning maintenance windows in agreement with the business/infrastructure teams and reporting on availability statistics.