Twenty-five years ago, applications were monolithic software programs that ran in huge data centres and used by the select few. Today, with Internet and mobile devices, applications are everywhere and used by nearly everyone.
Businesses are driven by them, customers connect through them, and employees can’t do their jobs without them. When it comes to managing applications today, the span of control is shifting, forcing organisations to think about how applications can be deployed in a manner that is flexible and profitable.
In order to experience a seamless experience between applications and end users, organisations find themselves having to deploy and manage multiple application services. Application services comprise a suite of technology or services that enhances availability, security and acceleration for the application. An application service is not the application itself – it is a technology or service for the environment that an application is deployed on.
Application services can include a wide array of functions, from traditional load balancing technologies to richer and advanced application delivery technologies. These include application security, mobility, availability, performance and access, as well as identity management.
However, there are an increasing number of tools being used for application development that all drive slightly different security requirements. That, in turn, makes it hard for IT to drive standardisation and automation on an adhoc basis.
Therefore, enterprises are increasingly looking to ‘build’ rather than buy off-the-shelf applications. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 75 percent of application purchases supporting digital business will be built, and not bought . Further to that, organisations will also be looking for customised application services to ease the burden and meet their individualised requirements.
Businesses must be as agile and orchestratable as the applications and microservices they’re delivering, which means being more than just virtual and actually fitting in with an increasingly DevOps environment.
Expect to see more applications in the digital world. While most Australian organisations are aware of the importance of application services, the industry can also expect to see application deployments expand beyond the data centre to include public, private and hybrid cloud models. While the complexity and diversity of application services is fast evolving, the success of these services within enterprise will rely heavily on their ability to ensure the consistent, smooth and secure operation of applications.
Amid all this change, one outcome is clear: IT landscape continues to evolve without signs of slowing down. These applications have contributed to enterprise’s greater capacity, not merely in a general sense but focused within the lens of specific business objectives. Application services have augmented the capacity of applications according to the needs of business and enterprises increasingly build and customise their applications to fulfil specific niches, this is evidence of industry optimisation but also the capacity that enables that. This is capacity that is malleable enough to allow firms to fulfil exact contextual business needs, pointing to the depth as well as the breadth of customability in this application world.