While it is widely agreed that cloud-based application management services are a revolutionary IT concept, there is still widespread misunderstanding within the industry about what cloud-based application management services really are and exactly how they benefit enterprise businesses.

To put it simply, cloud-based application management services create more efficient business environments by allowing the enterprise to rely on a usage-based billing model. This pay model eliminates upfront capital expenditure and reduces recurring operational costs. It also accelerates application deployment and delivers superior application support, allowing the user to focus on supporting core business objectives.

However, putting benefits to one side for a moment, there remain a number of common misconceptions surrounding the subject. The following points aim to put a rest to the most common myths that have arisen within the industry and hopefully better illustrate how to utilise cloud based application management for a more efficient business environment.

Myth #1: Application management is only about cost saving

The biggest myth about application management is that it is primarily a cost saving exercise. While cost savings are a major benefit of such services, it would be wrong to say companies choose application management solely to reduce their IT spend. In addition to providing a usage-based billing model, on-demand scalability, built-in business continuity, and faster deployment for your business applications, application management services empower your business with a vast pool of application experts, resources, and tools to leverage the full potential of your applications

Myth #2: Applications and data are no longer secure

A pervasive misconception is that outsourcing your application management needs to a third party leaves your applications and data compromised. Quality application management providers not only guarantee full responsibility for security, but also ensure application performance, scalability, reliability, security, continuity, and compliance. This means your applications are monitored and managed against clearly defined SLAs.

In fact, application management services can dramatically improve your organisation’s ability to design, develop, test, and maintain the security of applications in all phases of the development lifecycle. This way, cloud-based applications can be made more secure at the start of the development process, and data is properly protected from unauthorised access.

Myth #3: Cloud-based application management means compliance tradeoffs

Companies often think that cloud-based application management necessitates compliance tradeoffs, when in fact it usually positions the enterprise to more efficiently and effectively comply with regulatory requirements. At a minimum, the enterprise should select applications hosted in SSAE 16 (the successor standard to SAS 70) compliant data centres employing a complete array of physical and data security measures.

They should also ensure that the application management partner is committed to third-party validation, standards, and certification of the policies and procedures needed to maintain applications and underlying IT infrastructure in compliance with regulatory requirements. Many providers offer industry-specific compliance programmes, and enterprises benefit from this approach by working with application management experts well-versed in compliance standards, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI, and HIPAA.

Myth #4: Only small or ecommerce businesses need application management

Application management services are not just for the small or transaction oriented businesses. They can in fact benefit enterprises regardless of size or industry. Today most organisations, irrespective of their size and nature of business, rely on business application systems to manage processes, sustain supply chains, drive operations, and maintain customer relations. And with these applications more deeply ingrained within enterprises than ever before, it is even more important to ensure you achieve the maximum value from your applications.

Myth #5: Application management takes away control over applications

In reality, the exact opposite is true because the enterprise gains improved control, flexibility, and management. By using application management services, enterprises can still retain access to hosted applications to meet business needs, and you can also leverage industry best practices to ensure the access granted enables you to meet regulatory compliance demands.

You also gain deep visibility into applications and supporting physical and virtual server networks, resulting in greater operational control, better reporting, and a higher rate of on-time, on-budget application delivery. Plus, SLAs guarantee application control, customisation care, and performance to ensure your requirements are consistently being met.

These myths have created some confusion about the overall benefits and risks of cloud-based application management services. In reality, these services offer a great deal of value and can help enterprises create and support more efficient, responsive, and cost-effective business environments.