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What is Application Support?

How can we define what Application Support is in a word? Simply put, it is service; understand this and you appreciate what you deliver on a daily basis. How it is delivered is a separate issue discussed later in this blog.

Application Support Analysts support IT services delivered to users within an organisation, enabling the required operational processes needed for the business to be successful. By default, Application Support Analysts enable people to execute their responsibilities within the relevant business processes.

Read below to find out in more detail about the roles and responsibilities within Application Support.

Application Support Job Description

How can we define Application Support? Consider how you engage with services in your day-to-day life, whether it be through an airline, a media provider, or a self-service checkout at a supermarket. This will give you an appreciation for the most important aspect of the Application Support role, which is ensuring that services are running seamlessly and enabling users to get on with their business.

Once an app (or service) is released and users start using it, the app needs to be taken care of. As part of the Application Support team, you will monitor the state of the machines running the app, check the network being used and “listen” for messages from the application. Most apps will be designed to send out messages confirming things are correct or reporting any errors and problems. If there is a problem, commonly known as an incident, the App Support Analyst will be expected to diagnose the issue and resolve it as soon as possible.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Application Support Analyst

A normal working day in Application Support is calm and measured for 90% of the time, as the App Support Analyst checks messages, monitors the system and works through any improvements in processes that have been identified.

However, the remaining 10% of the job can be very chaotic. All of a sudden, a system can fail or an unexpected problem could arise. Remember these are production (live) issues and therefore, need immediate attention.

To put this into an IT context, imagine that the computers controlling the ATM machines (cashpoints) crashed or stopped working properly all around the world. As an App Support Analyst, you are expected to work quickly with the team to diagnose problems and get the systems back up and running. You will also be responsible for communicating with users, regulators and other stakeholders and reporting on status when the service has been restored.

The App Support Analyst will also be expected to work through finding the root cause of the issue and recommend what should be done in order to avoid this happening again. These recommendations could cover many things, such as process changes, improved monitoring, new errors, user training or changes to the app’s code.

Key Skills Needed for a Career in Application Support

The key skill when working within Application Support is communication. Whether this is responding to user calls, emails or face-to-face enquiries, or contributing to the design and implementation of new systems. For our consultants at FDM, this often means speaking to banking traders and operations staff on the trading floor or cooperating with users anywhere across the globe who have issues with their application (e.g. SAP or Salesforce).

The following attributes are also essential to a successful career within Application Support:

  • Empathy with users
  • Patience and understanding
  • Acceptance of ownership
  • Investigation and diagnostic skills (be like Sherlock Holmes)
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Attention to detail
  • A proactive approach
  • Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines

An Application Support Analyst must approach tasks systematically and remain focused on restoring services as soon as possible even when working under pressure, which makes these skills essential. Does this sound like an environment that you can thrive in?

Application Support at FDM

The FDM Technical Operations Programme is designed to equip you for a career in Application Support. Our expert training programme will build on your current knowledge base and provide you with the commercially relevant skills you need to work with our leading clients, including ITIL practices. We will help you to hone your natural problem solving skills into effective troubleshooting techniques, essential for an Application Support role.

A career in Application Support offers endless opportunities for progression and learning. After all, what better way to thoroughly understand the applications and systems than to be at the sharp end of IT operational support?

To find out more about the role and apply, check out the FDM Ex-Forces, Returners or Technical Operations Graduate Programme.


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