Many haven’t heard of an application specialist. Let alone know why they need one. So I want to set the record straight and talk about this vital member of your team.
First of all, as your IT Partner, TenisiTech works with you. We make sure you and your team can trust your technology to work reliably to support business goals.
To get this done we directly manage your infrastructure operations. Basically, we make sure your technology works.
Without a doubt, we deliver broad technology experience and expertise to do this. Despite this, we wouldn’t be a very good IT Partner if we said we’re experts in everything. And beware any IT Managed Services company that says otherwise.
You still need an application specialist for your key applications. And most of the time, that’s not us. We’ll explain.
In this post, we’ll:
- Share why having an application specialist is important
- Discuss specialty applications like SalesForce for which you’ll want a specialist
- Show how your IT Partner TenisiTech works directly with specialists to help you and your teams get the most out of technology
Infrastructure Operations: What We Do
Infrastructure is core to all businesses. In fact, it’s the framework on which all business technology works. It:
- Drives productivity
- Enables customer care
- Supports business goals
- Frees you up to focus on running your business
If you don’t have a strong infrastructure, specialty applications don’t work. In fact, trying to set applications up without infrastructure operations would be like trying to run an online business. Except, you don’t own a computer or phone or have internet.
But honestly, infrastructure operations are a lot more than that. You have:
- Networking. We keep everyone connected. That way teams can share resources, collaborate, and exchange information securely. We proactively monitor to ensure this is happening and can often fix problems before anyone else is aware of them.
- Server Architecture. We design, put in place, optimize, and monitor your foundational setup. This enables you to store, secure, and back up vital company information while also making it accessible to those who need it. We also make sure the server architecture has the ability to support services and applications. Your people use these every day. They rely on them to do their jobs.
- Phone Systems. Phone systems continue to play a critical role across companies. So we make sure phone systems maintain uptime.
- Equipment. We help you choose quality, value, and a good fit for your needs. We then maintain existing computers, devices, and peripheral equipment.
- Day-to-day IT support. Our focus as your IT partner is to build a system that works seamlessly behind the scenes. We believe firmly in proactive IT management. Because of this, we monitor and maintain this infrastructure. At the same time, we work with team members, supporting them day-to-day as they interact with that technology.
So, what’s left? Corporate Applications.
Corporate Applications: What an Application Specialist Does
First, What Are Corporate Applications?
Corporate applications are specialized technology tools and services. Software, SaaS, etc.—these enable companies to engage in activities that make them competitive.
For example, you may use a specialized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. It collects and analyzes first-party customer data. It allows you to set up workflows and automation. These enhance message timing and personalization so you get and keep more business.
At the same time, a CRM’s automated workflows cut out tedious tasks. And they optimize the marketing to sales hand-off. As a result, you can maximize the number of leads who become paying customers.
Now, that’s specialized! And to put it another way, it makes you good at what you do.
However, every CRM is going to do it a little differently. They’ll offer that secret sauce that customers want to pay a premium for. Then, this becomes a competitive advantage to the company using that tool. Your company.
You Must Get Your Money’s Worth
I don’t have to tell you these advanced applications aren’t cheap. But at the same time, they absolutely do pay for themselves. That is if you are prepared to get your money’s worth. In other words, you have to be committed to learning how to use that tool to the best of its ability. So, you need to get the most out of specialty applications and start getting an ROI.
Most companies don’t have time or money to spend learning these amazing applications through trial and error. They need ROI without delay. You can’t wait until 6 months or a year of trying to learn an application.
So instead, you need to skip all that and get an application specialist. In short, this individual dedicates their days to that one application. So all of a sudden, your company can use this tool like an expert (with their help). Or at least much faster than you could have on your own.
Corporate applications include but aren’t limited to:
- Electronic Health/Medical Records (EHR/EMR) Platforms
- Payroll Solutions
- Your Marketing Tool Stack
- … and others
Why You Need an Application Specialist
These applications are what make you special. So you’ve got to invest in the proper resources to implement and maintain these tools.
Let’s say you’re using HubSpot. You want to work with someone who knows HubSpot. In fact, they need to know it inside and out. As a result, they can help you get the most out of those tools.
As a result, you get what you paid for. And honestly, I can tell you as a technology expert, advanced technology experts always pay for themselves. They just do!
They have the experience to set up and manage these applications faster and more efficiently than you or I could. And they can make them better than non-experts could—helping you get more out of it.
This is an investment in your market differentiation—undisputably the most critical piece of who you are as a brand.
So what am I saying here?
Corporate Applications Vs Infrastructure Operations
Generally speaking, your corporate applications support is different from your infrastructure operations support. As much as I would love to have a team of experts on every single corporate application out there, I don’t. And no IT Managed Services company does.
It’s not possible.
IT Managed Services providers *may* have specialists in some of these areas. We certainly do. But more often than not, you’ll want someone who is an expert in the most critical applications you use.
Still, Overlap Exists
There’s generally overlap in these two areas. IT Operations team members (Us) are focused on infrastructure operations, including pieces of the application environment. Where it lives.
Corporate applications live within your technology infrastructure.
So it’s not either hiring an application specialist or someone to manage my infrastructure.
As your IT Partner, we build out and maintain the infrastructure. Without it, these applications wouldn’t work. We additionally manage server resources, network connectivity and operating system (not application) backups. Above all, IT Operations (TenisiTech) are responsible for keeping the equipment and infrastructure up and running.
In contrast, a corporate applications specialist should intimately understand the configuration of the application. They need to know:
- How to build specific and productive workflows
- Underlying databases used within the application
- Reporting capabilities
- Automation capabilities
- Administration of the application including user administration & permissions as well as how to upgrade and test the application
This is all the application specialist side of the house.
But wait, there’s more. Sometimes, you may even need a business systems analyst. This person becomes a liaise between the users of the application and the application specialists.
They help translate business requirements into application workflows. This a highly specialized specialist.
Honest from the Start
This is confusing because many key stakeholders on leadership teams believe that IT teams manage anything that runs on a computer.
Or even anything that’s plugged in. Ha. Ha.
In today’s world, that is just not the case.
It’s just like you don’t have one kind of doctor anymore. So, you have a dermatologist, right? But that’s not specialized enough either. So you have a cosmetic dermatologist or a dermatologist oncologist and so on.
The world is getting more specialized.
If you’re in healthcare, who’s going to make sure your EMR meets your clinic and HIPAA-compliance needs? We can take care of the infrastructure and cybersecurity side of that. But you also need someone who specializes not only in healthcare technology. They know that particular EMR inside and out.
There are far too many specialty applications that require deep knowledge into an industry (i.e. healthcare) or platform (i.e. Salesforce).
Your IT Ops team (TenisiTech) has deep experience and expertise in technology. But the way specialization is going, it’s like we’re in an entirely different—though arguably adjacent—world.
Bottom line: We work directly with your application specialists. Together, we make sure they have the infrastructure they need to help you get the most out of specialty applications.
Who Handles What?
Below, I’ve created a chart to show you who handles what. Corporate Specialist or Infrastructure Operations (Us).
Note that you may have some overlap in:
- Application End User Support
- Application Security
- Application User Administration
These areas would require collaboration between infrastructure operations and the corporate application specialist. This is especially true if the organization has centralized account management residing within infrastructure operations (recommended).
At the end of the day, though, the corporate application administrator would be responsible for setting up roles and permission groups within the application and training other support team members in some of the basic administration (i.e. installing the application onto a laptop, assigning licenses, resetting passwords).
|Infrastructure Operations||Corporate Application Administrator||Application Owner (Normally resides in the business unit)|
|Operating System Upgrades||Responsible|
|Operating System Patching||Responsible|
|End User Support||Responsible||Responsible|
|Application User Administration||Responsible||Responsible|
|Application Roles & Access Management||Responsible|
|Application Database Administration||Responsible|
|Application Selection, Licensing, and Invoice Approval||Responsible|
Created with OneNote.