The lifecycle of enterprise software does not begin when programming starts and ends with the deployment. Instead, it has an ongoing lifespan. Indeed, the start of its lifecycle and a significant portion of the work begins after deployment.
Software is always varying and as long as it is being utilized, it has to be supervised and maintained appropriately. In simple words, maintenance is an even more important part of the lifecycle, since it helps organizations to keep it up and running as per user trends, introduce innovative features, move to the Cloud, or perform any other changes. Whatever the motive is, implementing software product maintenance is vital for the success of modern enterprises. This way, organizations can stay ahead of the competition and fulfill customer expectations and other business objectives.
An Overview of Software Maintenance
Software maintenance, commonly known as system maintenance, is the practice of altering or updating existing software products after launching in the market. It’s a crucial phase in the software development lifecycle that aims to enhance overall software performance and resolve errors while eliminating software functionality from breaking down over time.
The software maintenance process is critical because a product never stops evolving. Developers are continually working and refining their code, which means that even if enterprises don’t make any changes to their product after its initial release, it will undergo various challenges. When enterprises disregard maintenance services, they’ll be stuck with older versions of their product that may not be compatible with modern devices or operating systems. The global software maintenance market is expected to reach US$330bn in 2024.
Types of Software Maintenance
Maintenance experts from a recognized service provider should provide the following types of services to ensure optimal performance and efficiency:
- Corrective Software Maintenance – This category mainly focuses on addressing the errors and faults that exist within the design, logic, or code of software applications that could affect various parts of enterprise services. These corrections are usually done by experts after preparing bug reports that were raised by internal business users. This approach can help experts to discover and resolve errors before the customers experience serious concerns, thereby safeguarding the brand’s reputation.
- Adaptive Software Maintenance – This maintenance is performed by experts to bring changes to the software based on updates within the operating system, hardware, dependencies, or even Cloud storage. Moreover, adaptive software maintenance is done periodically based on organizational rules or policies. Transforming services, making alterations to payment or vendor processors can all be done through adaptive software maintenance.
- Perfective Software Maintenance – concentrates on the upgradation of features and requirements in existing software. When users interact with software, they may notice and suggest new functionalities that they would like as part of the software, which could become future improvements. Perfective software maintenance can also aid enterprises in enhancing user experience and eliminating features that are not functional and effective.
- Preventative Software Maintenance – is ideal for making changes and adaptations to an enterprise software so that it can function seamlessly for a longer duration. These services can include altering documentation and optimizing code as required. Preventative software maintenance is helpful in reducing the risk related to security, helping it to become more manageable, stable, and comprehensible.
Benefits of Software Maintenance
1.Align With the Latest Updates
Trying to enhance outdated software can be a cumbersome procedure, particularly if some updates aren’t offered by the vendors anymore. Whereas, performing software maintenance periodically help enterprises keep their product up-to-date with all the latest technology updates, enabling businesses to reap the advantages of new functionalities without a huge investment. Furthermore, it enables adding new features without having to restructure an entire product from scratch.
2.Improves Software Security & Performance
Keeping enterprise-grade software up and running enhances productivity and ensures end-users are contented with a company’s services. Security patches are regularly included in software updates, which address liabilities in older software versions that cybercriminals could exploit. Enterprises can eliminate intrusion attempts before they happen by maintaining old versions patched, eventually protecting organizations from exorbitant cyberattacks.
3.Ensures Business Growth
Enterprises that capitalize on ongoing software maintenance can ensure that their IT ecosystem follows the latest technological trends and adheres to industry standards and regulations. As a result, maintenance allows enterprises to expand their services or products without investing money or time in discovering unique solutions for each new initiative or project.
4.Reduces Technical Debt
Technical debt is one of the critical risks of non-effective software maintenance. This refers to added project costs due to problems caused by poor coding quality and design decisions taken during development and is typically hard to modify later. Unfortunately, even at the leading firms, this sort of problem happens all too often, producing burnout for developers who need to address bugs or include new features without any breakdown time. However, enterprises can avoid paying off huge volumes of technical debt when they team up with a recognized software maintenance and support team for regular maintenance and updates.
5.Minimize Product Unresponsiveness
Product unresponsiveness is a standard issue with all software products. The longer a product exists on the market without maintenance, the greater the risk of losing end-users due to software unresponsiveness. Software maintenance alleviates this risk by keeping a software up to date with all new security and technology standards and overcoming unpredictable lagging and errors.
Enterprises can be as efficient as they wish when they decide on performing software maintenance and support periodically. The concept of software maintenance is gaining traction, due to the benefits it offers to enterprises. By teaming up with the right software maintenance service providers, enterprises can focus on delivering the best services to their customers and attain a competitive edge.