Why You Need a Maintenance Contract for Your Software Application
Why Custom Software?
When off the shelf applications don’t fulfill a critical business need that is directly tied to your organization’s profitability, custom enterprise-level applications are necessary. Building such an application is a significant undertaking in time, effort, and cost. Development for such a system can take a software team 6 months to 2 years to complete. The investment is worth it, though, because of the improvement in business processes, which in turn leads to improved performance, efficiency, cost savings and a Return On your Investment (ROI).
Normally because of the significant investment, the goal is for enterprise-level software to be used in production for 10 to 20 years. For example, LBi’s software product, Personnel Assistant (PA), was in production approximately 17 years. Each software application has its own unique life cycle, and it depends in part on real world changes, such as changes in business requirements, environment changes, security issues, software bugs, software upgrades, hardware changes/upgrades, etc. In order to keep your application viable for a long period of time and maximize your ROI, we recommend including ongoing maintenance.
What is Software Maintenance?
To keep your software up to date, you need Software Maintenance. There are four types of software maintenance: Preventive, Adaptive, Corrective and Enhancements.
- Preventive – helps to reduce the risk associated with operating software for a long time, helping it to become more stable, understandable, and maintainable by optimizing code and updating documentation as needed
- Adaptive – modifying software to allow it to remain effective in a changing business and technical environment
- Corrective – modifying the software to correct issues (“bugs”) discovered after initial deployment
- Enhancements – these can include:
- New features or functions
- Improving existing features or functions
- Removal of outdated features or functions
Why Do You Need Maintenance and Support Services?
In today’s evolving technology landscape, riddled with hackers and breaches, your Application Maintenance is more important than ever. Applications are run on many different browsers (Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Edge), multiple Operating Systems (Windows 10, OSX, Chrome, iOS, Android) and different devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone). With responsive design one application must account for all these browser/OS/device nuances. To top it off, there are automatic updates for Windows and iPhones occurring monthly and weekly. When you add in the threats that hackers present, the myriad of issues can be head spinning. Maintenance monitors your application for the top known security flaws and checks for out-of-date open-source libraries. Maintenance makes sure this all works and patches are issued before you even know it.
This investment in software maintenance is necessary for three major reasons:
- Refinement to better meet stakeholders’ needs
We are often asked, “Do I really need this?” The answer is of course, “YES!” As an analogy, when you buy a new car you won’t think twice about bringing it in for service visits (oil changes, brakes); you’ll check the fluids and wipers, replace tires, get regular state inspections, pay for insurance, wash and wax the car. The more conscientious you are about taking care of these items, the longer the car will last and and the safer it will be. The same applies for Application Maintenance.