The primary motivation for organizations to adopt SparkleFlow often stems from “a lack of overview” in their application packaging processes. This issue resonates with me, as I recall my experience managing IT (in the broadest sense) for a healthcare organization. When I was handling the system administrator role, the overall manager decided to outsource a portion of IT management to an external party, including application roll-outs. When they requested a list of applications in use, finding that information proved to be a challenge. Documentation was scattered, incomplete, or missing, and it was unclear who was responsible for the applications. It took weeks to map out the “application landscape” for fewer than a hundred applications. Now, imagine the same scenario playing out in an organization with over a thousand applications…..
Surprisingly, many organizations still struggle with maintaining an overview of their application landscape, often relying on numerous Excel spreadsheets and folders containing packages, documents, scripts, and more. This is only the technical side of application management, as there are also other systems like a CMDB, ITSM system (e.g., ServiceNow), Active Directory (application groups), distribution server (e.g., SCCM), contract management, and sometimes even a SAM system (Software Asset Management). Although it may seem like all necessary information and insights are available, in reality, this is often not the case. Several reasons contribute to this situation:
- No standardized working method: Application requests are handled in an ad-hoc manner without planning, registration, or a defined process. This results in a loss of overview when multiple requests are processed simultaneously by different technical application engineers.
- Inconsistent tracking: With administrative systems and documents spread across various locations, maintaining documentation becomes a cumbersome task. Busy periods often lead to skipped administration, creating a backlog that becomes unmanageable.
- Reluctance to document: Technical professionals often dislike documentation, resulting in minimal or no documentation in practice.
- Separate systems maintenance: The need to maintain various systems separately leads to duplication and a high risk of inconsistency.
- Lack of automation: Repetitive, time-consuming tasks related to technology and administration are often performed manually, contributing to lengthy lead times for application availability.
In my view, the biggest problem arises from the lack of clear responsibility for the application landscape. All relevant stakeholders play a role in managing applications, but no one takes full responsibility for creating a comprehensive overview. SparkleFlow addresses these challenges in the following ways:
- SparkleFlow establishes a centralized system for managing and exchanging information about applications, securing the customer’s process within its workflow. By leveraging customer experiences and technical perspectives, SparkleFlow optimizes the process.
- The data model in SparkleFlow is tailored to customer needs, ensuring all necessary information is captured, including software dependencies, contacts, version control, status information, security information, license information, and more.
- Automation is prioritized, with SparkleFlow’s workflow system executing actions at the right moments. Tasks like creating installation manuals, test instructions, Active Directory groups, SCCM packages, updating TopDesk, sending emails, and more are all performed seamlessly and quickly.
- SparkleFlow integrates with all relevant systems, preventing duplication of work and mistakes while ensuring complete reports across all systems.
- Once everything is in place, Dashboards provide real-time insights and information, ensuring immediate access to required data.
Does this sound too good to be true? SparkleFlow users would disagree, as they have come to rely on it as an indispensable tool for managing applications and packages. During a demo, we can demonstrate how SparkleFlow can enhance your specific situation. Since we’ve developed SparkleFlow in-house from the ground up, additional functionalities can be easily incorporated to address your unique needs.