Investing in application dependency mapping helps you operate safer, better, and faster.
Safer by reducing risk. If you are not exactly sure what assets you have, it is hard to manage your applications and the infrastructure that supports them. A good application dependency map reduces your risk from potential data breaches, saves money when you safely decommission things, and makes sure you are ready for any compliance questions. ADM helps you with disaster recovery and recovering from ransomware.
Better by increasing availability and reliability. Service outages can lead to slow and painful troubleshooting. When an outage occurs, it can be time-consuming for the team to understand the root cause without a shared understanding of the whole system. A good application dependency map shows everyone how things are related so the team can get the business-critical applications up and running again without relying on an individual’s “tribal knowledge”. Faster recovery from outages is the immediate benefit, but the map pays off in the long haul when you use it to prevent performance issues and other problems in the first place. ADM helps you with configuration management and observability.
Faster by shortening the time to market. For digital transformation projects, like cloud migrations to support a new business strategy or when acquiring a new company, there are a lot of moving parts, any of which could trip up a big project. A good application dependency map gives you the information you need to be sure you are migrating the right set of applications in the right order. Without a deep understanding of the application relationships with each other and your infrastructure, you may not be able to launch new services quickly. The map can shed light on the technical debt that never seems to get prioritized, helping you develop a roadmap that increases your digital agility.
ADM used to be time-consuming, manual, and error prone. Organizations shunned ADM because it was both difficult and costly. New tools and techniques have made it quicker and easier to outsource ADM, lowering the barrier to entry and allowing for faster benefits realization.
To survive in the modern era, enterprises must be able see their application surroundings clearly to make effective decisions and rapidly adapt to take advantage of opportunities. ADM may not seem sexy, but it provides the foundation that enables enterprises to improve quality while moving fast and safely in a digital world.
Keith Instone has been practicing user experience for over 30 years, spanning academia (studying the science of human interaction with technology), industry (with IBM), and as a consultant (to startups, Fortune 100 companies, and in between).