What is an Application Manager?
Application Managers are IT professionals who are responsible for managing the software applications within a business. Application Managers are not usually involved with the development of applications; instead, they figure out what specific applications are needed to improve business operations, and then supervise the installation, upgrading and daily maintenance of software applications used by an organization. They engage with people at all levels of an organization, and usually work as part of an IT team. Application Managers sometimes manage teams.
All types of businesses require IT software to do their business, some of which they develop internally and some of which they buy from a third-party vendor. It is the job of the Application Manager to identify what software is best for a business’ specific needs. They then acquire the software, prepare the servers, install the software, configure it, load data into it, tune it, upgrade it, and repair it when there are problem. They also sometimes help train and communicate how to use the software across the organization. As more and more companies turn to third-party software, the role of Application Administrator will become increasingly important and there will likely be more openings for this position.
Application Manager Duties and Responsibilities
To supervise the application needs of a company Application Managers are responsible for a wide range of duties. A review of Application Manager job openings revealed these main duties that most Application Managers are responsible for in their daily jobs.
Assesses business process requirements
The Applications Manager analyzes the structure and flow of the business’ work to identify possible application solutions. They need to be aware of the latest software developments and think of ways that software can be applied to make the business more efficient and successful.
Manages system hardware and application software implementation and upgrades
Applications Managers often lead a team of IT specialists responsible for implementing and upgrading system hardware and application software. They ensure that the servers are all ready before implementing new systems, and then carefully monitor the rolling-out process to catch any snags.
Troubleshoots problems with the software
Application Managers provide technical support and problem resolution related to business application software systems. Whenever there is a problem with the software, the Application Manager or a member of their team will review the issue and come up with a solution.
Creates processed and protocols for software
For any new software that is introduced to the organization, the Application Manager creates, develops and oversees protocols and procedures for its usage. Once these standards are developed, they may also need to provide training to users.
Application Manager Skills
Because their job requires identifying problems and assessing potential application solutions, Application Managers need to have a strong analytical mind and problem-solving skills. Sometimes, the solutions they come up with will require detailed analysis and creative thinking. They should also be good communicators, to be able share their findings and suggestions with senior leadership. To manage a software implementing team, Application Managers also need good leadership abilities. They also will benefit from developed customer service skills and a patience when teaching new tools to users. Along with the skills and traits just listed, jobs listings for Application Managers are looking for candidates with the following skills.
Core skills: A review of open job listings showed us that employers want Application Managers with these core skills. If you want a career as an Application Manager, make sure you have the following skills.
- Knowledge of system design, development, implementation, and user support principles and practices.
- Experience with database management.
- Familiarity with Project management principles.
- Experience with Information system troubleshooting.
- Demonstrated skill in developing automated business systems.
- Ability to communicate technical information to a non-technical audience.
Advanced skills: Most employers did not require the following skills, but they showed up in multiple job listings as “preferred qualifications”. If you have these on your resume, you will broaden your career options as an Application Manager.
- Knowledge of advanced systems analysis methods, practices, and principles.
- Knowledge of cost modeling principles.
- Experience preparing workflow analyses.
- Experience leading and facilitating training.
Tools of the trade: Application Managers have many of responsibilities in their day-to-day work, and much of it involves the use of tools. If you would like to become an Application Manager, make sure you have strong skills in using the following:
- Computer systems
- Spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel
- Database management software
Application Manager Salary
The BLS categorizes Application Managers under Computer and Information Systems Managers. The median annual salary for this group is $131,600. While some Applications Managers may earn less than $80,160 a year, others earn more than $187,200. The best paid state to be a Computer and Information Systems Manager in is California, where the median annual salary is $153,810. That is closely followed by New York and Virginia, where Computer and Information Systems Managers earn salaries of $152,300 and $151,850, respectively.
Application Manager Resources
To help you get all the information you need to decide if Application Manager is the career for you, we searched the web and found these great resources below. From helpful blogs to info-packed books, this list has lots of great sources for Application Manager information.
On the Web
Application Performance Management – Connect with and learn from the experts in Application Management at this very active website.
AWS DevOps Blog – Application Developers and Managers turn to this blog for inside information on the topic.
Application Developers Alliance – ADA is the only professional organization just for app Developers and Managers. The website provides recent research and a jobs board.
Association of Information Technology Professionals – An organization for all professionals in IT, AITP has lots of great resources for anyone starting out in the field.
Application Manager Books
Managing Information Technology (7th Edition) – This thorough and practical guide touches on the main IT management practices and issues that you will encounter as an Application Manager
Implementing World Class IT Strategy: How IT Can Drive Organizational Innovation – Turn to this book for insight into how to develop a successful IT strategy.
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