From ideation to development to deployment to management and to retirement, application lifecycle management is a critical aspect of enterprise mobility. The right solutions and processes can ensure that internal applications are effective throughout the entire lifecycle.
As enterprises realize the importance of this and the market for these solutions expands, here are seven best practices to follow:
1. Be Clear About Workflows
Throughout the lifecycle of an application, the ability to ensure a smooth workflow is key. Enterprises should map out that workflow and be as specific as possible as to how the different application lifecycle management processes work during each of the lifecycle stages. This roadmap of the workflow should include details about coordinating different teams and ensuring the best communication. By defining those workflows early on, application development teams will have an easier time going through this process.
2. Always Consider Employees
Developing applications is always about keeping users (in this case, your employees) in mind. First, it starts with IT. A good mobility leader should avoid overworking the development team behind the application. Then, there are various stakeholders with the enterprise who should also be part of the development process, particularly leaders in C-Suite who are an interested in the project. Finally, it is critical that the app meets the needs of the business users who are using it. This includes testing the application with the users and having a full understanding about how the application will impact their daily tasks. A focus on the user will guide your team through the process.
3. Incorporate Quality Assurance
A productive application lifecycle management process should be focused on minimizing errors, which is where quality assurance (QA) comes in. Even if an organization is focused on DevOps (as is the case for 99% of teams) in an agile cycle, there should still be an emphasis on enhancing QA. The right process will incorporate QA and make sure that it’s used heavily during the lifecycle. Even the tools that are used for lifecycle management should offer features just for QA testing. In order to ensure that applications are functional from deployment to retirement, the tools should be able to track QA testing with end users.
4. Automation Is Your Friend
Manually deploying an app can be incredibly inefficient and it could be risky. Manual-based processes in deployment are usually error-ridden. It could also be a poor use of resources and a waste of time for that employee (who should be handling other important things). That is why an enterprise should turn to tools that automate testing, deployment, and other phases of lifecycle management. In particular, robotic process automation (RPA) has proven to be an important tool that can improve application testing.
5. Don’t Neglect Governance
Governance is an important part of application lifecycle management. Through every single phase of the lifecycle, enterprises must ensure that governance is properly executed. Failure to consider governance could be detrimental to an entire enterprise. All management tools should have the capabilities to handle governance and all of the requirements that comes with it.
6. Importance Of Compliance Reporting
The right application management solution should also automate regulatory compliance reports. Despite the specific processes involved with developing the app, all enterprises must adhere to strict compliance responsibilities. Keeping track of these requirements can be tricky, but by incorporating compliance reporting into procedures and solutions, it eases the process. This includes having a solution that automatically generates audit compliance reports that are properly updated. The solution should also maintain a detailed activity log, which will help internal teams managing the app.
7. Selecting The Right Tools
Managing the application of a lifecycle can be incredibly challenging. In addition to having the right individuals and processes, enterprises need to select the best tools that can be used in all phases. However, not all tools are exactly the same. Important capabilities to look for include real-time collaboration, long-term planning, testing, machine learning, and DevOps. The tools should also be flexible and customizable.