Much emphasis is given to the process of developing software; how requirements can be analysed, who does the coding and testing, as well as how deployments can be carried out when outsourcing software development. However, minimal conversations surround the topic of software maintenance, and what teams shall be left with after their hard work is officially launched to the market.
In other words, software maintenance is the long-term commitment that software development teams both in-house and outsourced need to dedicate themselves to, in order to ensure optimal performance of what they helped implement. A well planned software maintenance strategy is essential to not only keep performance in check, but also uncover security gaps, resolve technical debt as well as address any concerns laid out by users pertaining to functionality and overall experience.
In this article, we elaborate on the reasons that warrant regular and timely software maintenance. As a leading software outsourcing company in Sri Lanka, our teams here at EFutures also have insight on software development practices that shall significantly contribute towards software maintenance success – something which we have also elaborated on, below.
Software testing, although usually associated with conventional software development processes, can ideally precede software maintenance as testing types such as regression testing can help quality assurance engineers check whether other working parts haven’t been faulted owing to a new update or release.
AST, on the other hand, can work hand-in-hand with regular software testing by implementing a variety of testing methods in order to infuse a security-first approach towards maintaining your software. Such AST methods include:
By integrating testing and maintenance in your software development process, your teams will be better equipped to identify, prioritise and fix bugs without any delay, thereby maximising performance.
Software maintenance can pave the way for better UI/UX, and subsequently, better CX. As data analytics tools monitor engagement and user feedback from social media, app stores and third-party review sites are drawn to reveal useful insights, software development teams and business teams can then plan how new features can be implemented to satisfy user requests, in order to make software products better tuned to the needs of customers.
Maintaining positive CX has become a must in today’s highly competitive business environment, as multiple companies vie for the same customer’s attention, even across niche vertical markets. Such saturation demands companies to truly stand out, so that they stay fresh in the minds of their consumers – and therefore relevant enough to warrant repeat business.
With your application(s) being a prime customer touchpoint across the digital landscape, conducting repeated maintenance that preserves user-friendliness while keeping customer preferences at the fore helps brands build positioning that is consistent, predictable and as a result, reliant in the minds of consumers.
Software maintenance usually calls for regular security testing, which in turn can contribute to cybersecurity for your software or application. With cyber attacks highly prone to affect any organisation irrespective of industry, specialty or size, businesses need to establish a cybersecurity strategy that aligns with compliance regulations, while helping keep confidential data secure from hackers.
Through continuous bug fixing and patch management, software maintenance, even if not integrated with a solid cybersecurity strategy, can still help maintain an acceptable level of security for your software or application. Additionally, granular access management policies that are always being monitored via software maintenance, such as Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) can further ensure only authorised users shall gain access to their accounts.
Software maintenance also enables performance optimization for your software or mobile application as it can help teams understand how efficient existing resources are, so they can be upgraded or changed accordingly. This also applies to pricing models; shifting from one service to another, especially in the wake of company growth, can reap cost savings, while also enabling the use of resources that have higher or no limitations.
Software development practices such as Continuous Delivery/Continuous Integration (CI/CD) and DevOps are common methods of building and testing software across leading software companies in Sri Lanka. Owing to a variety of benefits, these methodologies can significantly reduce time to market as well as downtime, while empowering businesses to take a proactive stance towards cyber compromise.
Key benefits of CI/CD and DevOps for software maintenance include:
Software maintenance is a long-term endeavour that every business needs to pay a high level of attention to; once the initial designing, developing, testing and implementation of your software or mobile application is complete, its requirement of ongoing maintenance is what your teams will be left with in the long run. This means that it is vital to think ahead, when it comes to your custom software – as early as the information gathering stage itself.
When your teams embark on building your software or application from scratch, understanding how maintenance processes will pan out, who will be responsible and whether any extra resources shall be required in order to do so shall enable maintenance that isn’t just punctual, but also optimal for maintaining consistent performance.
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