What is Application Support?

application support

It will be hard to imagine a world without engineers and managers working in the field of application support. They are real superheroes who keep all our favorite apps and services running. 

The companies providing application support services ensure stable and uninterrupted platform operation. Without their help, clients would not be able to correctly interact with the business, and employees within the company itself would not be able to perform their duties efficiently. The importance of this industry is evidenced by the number of people working in it – a whopping 150 thousand people! Let’s take a closer look at what representatives of this specialty do.

Photo Credit: fdmgroup

Responsibilities of Support Workers

To better understand this phenomenon and its significance for the modern world, remember how you use Internet services to buy air tickets or go to the application for ordering food delivery. Almost all communication with customers, application maintenance, and staff training takes place through support workers. Technically, the core tasks of a support team can be divided into two broad groups:

  • Application infrastructure maintenance. Whole teams of specialists monitor the status of servers and gadgets running the application and monitor errors. If such errors happen, the task of the engineer is to quickly eliminate them. Customers also often expect the helpdesk to be able to find the root cause of an outage and recommend ways to further resolve the problem.
  • Communication with customers. End-User Support Agent is a separate position within the support team. This person deals with the processing of incoming messages from users, whether it was an email or a phone call, helps clients understand the application interface, and deals with other minor issues.

Of course, this is just a small list of what application support specialists do every day, they also implement new systems, constantly check software health, etc. Some companies are engaged in a specific set of tasks, and there are those that can carry out a project from start to finish.

Support Team Members

To understand how versatile services such companies provide, it is enough to look at the composition of specialists who are engaged in a particular project:

  • Application support and maintenance manager. Engaged in budget planning, assigning responsibilities, setting goals, and monitoring the implementation of the plan.
  • End-user support agent. It was already mentioned about him earlier: this person’s responsibilities include communication with users and elimination of minor problems associated with the application interface.
  • DevOps engineer. Checks for issues reported by the support agent, monitors system status, and configures software.
  • Software developer. Responsible for fixing problems at the level of the add-on code and suggesting possible improvements and additional integrations to the team
  • Test engineer. Constantly tests the application in order to ensure the correct operation of all its features. The earlier the problem would be detected, the less harm it would cause.

Application Support Sourcing Models

Different companies have different approaches to cooperation with application support services. 

  • In-house application support. Some large companies independently recruit and train personnel in this area. While choosing this option you gain lots of control over the quality of application support. However you’d also need to cover lots of expenses connected with recruiting and creating a good working environment.
  • Outsourcing application support. If the owners do not have the resources to train new staff, then the support activities are outsourced to third-party vendors. This is one of the most profitable options since, for a relatively small fee, the company immediately receives a team of specialists with extensive experience. Of course, there is a risk of choosing a bad service provider, so you should carefully approach this selection.

Conclusion

So, application support is a promising area in the IT field, which already employs more than 150 thousand people. The market is represented by many companies that have been operating for many years and have earned their name in the field of application support. However, like any IT business, support services are only gaining momentum and are constantly working to improve the quality of the services provided.

Regardless of whether you are a business owner, a job seeker in the IT field, or just someone interested in technology, you should delve into the topic of application support, because this is the foundation of the modern world.