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Assess APPS in use.

Documenting all applications in a business can be a daunting task in isolation. It requires IT to work with the end-user community to uncover all applications and define how they are used.

Step 1. IT should identify significant operations that could affect application performance and document each application's performance characteristics.

Step 2. Compile a complete list of applications running across the network and evaluate their performance. This provides a baseline to compare changes and enhancements as applications are modified or moved within or out of the IT environment.

Step 3. When all applications have been identified, usage patterns discussed and the overall application performance captured, an informational meeting with business leaders, application owners and other stakeholders should be conducted to discuss definitions for each business criticality classification to allow the team to properly classify all applications used.

Step 4. Operational costs associated with maintaining levels of business criticality assigned to each application can be determined.

Generally, the higher the criticality level, the higher the support cost. Redundant infrastructure is required for the most critical applications to meet applicable service-level agreements (SLAs).

Companies use various business criticality classifications. For example:

* Critical: Financial impact occurs immediately.

* Mandatory: Financial impact experienced within hours.

* Strategic: Financial impact seen within days.

* Tactical: Financial impact seen within weeks.

Step 5. Profile the applications to identify how they are currently performing and what optimization opportunities exist, including what infrastructure should be in place to achieve required levels of performance. These optimization opportunities should then be justified according to service expectations and business criticality.

Step 6. An impact analysis can be conducted to model scenarios that illustrate how performance optimization recommendations can be achieved. Expectations of application growth scenarios can be introduced into the profiling exercise to uncover the best scenario for each application. All applications and their business criticality classifications can be used to build the business continuity plan.

Step 7. Build a high-level architecture diagram of the entire IT environment.

Step 8. A detailed application design should also be created to ensure the architecture recommendation for each application is documented in detail and can be communicated clearly.

Step 9. Based on the business criticality assessment, ensure the investment in each application is appropriate to the business requirement.

Optimizing the performance of applications based on their criticality to the business is a formula to maximize technology investments.

Christie Asmussen is senior solutions architect for BT Americas. New York.

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Title Annotation:Network Security; analytical photogrammetric positioning system
Comment:Assess APPS in use.(Network Security)(analytical photogrammetric positioning system )
Author:Asmussen, Christie
Publication:Communications News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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