Application Support: Why it’s no longer all about break-fix
As we all know, today’s technical landscape is ever changing, with the phrase “digital transformation” on everyone’s lips. This process can seem like a minefield - thinking about moving into this new space while also trying to keep the lights on to conduct day to day business is not easy.
IT is turning a corner – it is no longer a costly expense but now an essential business driver; something that every organisation needs to invest in to stay ahead of the curve.
Despite this fast transition of businesses delving in to new and emerging technology, legacy applications continue to power huge numbers of companies across all sectors, despite claims made by some that it is outdated. In today’s world, never for a minute would I have thought my COBOL and AS400 skills would still be needed, or that completing my final year project in college using MS Access wasn’t the end of the world!
This dependency on legacy systems is not uncommon, and although the pace of IT today can be seen as fast, the uptake of new technologies does take time. Because of this, businesses far too often take the easy route of standing still and not investing in these processes, while depending on the older, familiar ways to get progress their business through an ever-changing digital economy. This is why I believe that now is the time to embrace the change and start to address the legacy applications risks.
In my experience, I’ve seen legacy applications businesses fall into 1 of 4 categories:
1. Oblivious to the risks – No forward planning
2. Aware of the risk – But failing to act
3. Aware of the risk – Starting to look for help
4. Aware of the risk – Planning an approach
Measuring the risk of these four categories is essential to ensure that your business avoids being stagnated or left behind, as other technological drivers move to the fore in today’s IT landscape. Consulting with an expert who can help your situation, regardless of the category you find yourself in, is the first step to take. Once this is in place, solutions can be provided. Partnering this with business logic then paves the way for providing solid best practice advice and mapping out the future vision for your organisation’s IT needs, while helping to fix day-to-day issues in-between.
Adopting a unified solution and a relationship with an IT partner who understands your business processes is key in taking the step out of familiarity and in to the limitless arena of new technology. At Ergo, we have the experience to know that every customer journey is different. Our ability to build on this and provide business tailored solutions when establishing partnerships helps us no longer be seen as a break-fix provider, but a trusted guide on the digital journey.
As Application Service Manager, it’s my role to be the voice for the customer – bringing queries and concerns in house to the wider team and finding answers. Building a positive customer relationship is how to move away from the traditional application support model and in to a newer space. I have found most success when dealing with customers that want to collaborate and are eager to progress.
Once a business realises the need to progress, they are usually happy to face the challenge head on, knowing they have the support and tools readily available with Ergo. My experience has shown that customers want more than a just a break fix contract, they need a trusted partner that knows their business and has invested in achieving their business goals. Whether this is a small system upgrade with a positive outcome, or a new app which increases customer revenue beyond expectation, their success is our success.