Imagine that you are a production line manager at a manufacturing company and you're under pressure to deliver an increasing number of products that are rapidly growing in complexity. You also have to deliver an increasing number of versions of each product. And you have to speed up the production line substantially. If you cannot meet these requirements, your company's customers will find what they need elsewhere.
This is exactly the situation in which IT finds itself today. Line of business owners in the enterprise are demanding more applications of greater complexity for a greater number of operating environments and devices, and they want them delivered quickly. If you can't give them what they want, they may go around IT and acquire the applications on their own, a phenomenon known as "shadow IT." That not only drives up acquisition and support costs but also jeopardizes security and compliance.
Adding to the challenge is the increasing strategic use of mobile apps in the enterprise. Thought leadership articles warn about security risks that result from mobile applications leaking data outside the enterprise such as through the use of cameras, copy-paste operations or connections to cloud services. Yet IT organizations have little or no institutional knowledge of how mobile apps behave when deployed and used, or how to shape that behavior to support enterprise standards. There are few mobile application management tools or techniques available to assess the risky behavior of mobile applications in use.
To address the challenge, IT must achieve and maintain a high level of agility and be prepared for continual change. The goal is to position IT to provide business owners with all the applications they need, when they need them, on the devices they choose — while retaining control.
To meet this goal, you must maintain a portfolio of applications ready for immediate deployment to a wide variety of operating systems and devices, and keep the applications current with the latest updates and patch levels. You also have to migrate applications to new operating systems and devices, to new versions of existing platforms, and to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). In addition, you have to add new applications to the portfolio continually. At the same time, you need to drive down costs by maximizing efficiency such as by automating processes and enabling end users to serve themselves in requesting applications.
Considering the complexity of today's applications, the number of operating environments and devices, and the rapid release of new versions of applications and environments, maintaining continual application readiness is a tall order.
This paper presents the six-step Application Readiness process and describes a four-level maturity model to assess your organization's maturity in the process. It also provides recommendations on how you to move to higher levels of maturity so you will always be ready for change.