As technology constantly changes and evolves, effective software maintenance becomes key to ensuring your platforms remain competitive and secure. However, the software maintenance process can be an arduous one, involving constant attention as well as a significant investment.
This is where outsourcing software maintenance becomes a valuable solution. Outsourcing program maintenance is an effective solution for handling the costly and time-consuming aspects of software development that may be challenging to address with an internal team.
In this article, we will explore the intricacies of software maintenance, and how an effective outsourcing partner can help alleviate the stress of software maintenance.
What Is Software Maintenance?
Software maintenance is the process of changing, modifying, and updating software to keep up with customer needs. This phase occurs after the product has been launched, driven by a few different factors.
Firstly, it aims to enhance the application’s overall functionality, ensuring it remains competitive and relevant in the market. Software maintenance also addresses issues or bugs, fixing them to improve the user experience.
Additionally, this process strives to boost performance, making the program run smoother and faster. It also includes updating it to seamlessly integrate with new hardware or software systems, aligning it with the latest technological advancements.
Software Maintenance Process
The software maintenance process, which is encompassed within the Software Maintenance Life Cycle (SMLC), involves a systematic approach to keeping applications efficient and aligned with changing user needs. This process follows these seven phases:
Modifications are identified and categorized based on their maintenance requirements. These are usually prompted by user feedback or internally recognized issues, which sets the groundwork for improvements.
Practicality and feasibility assessments are conducted for each modification request, often followed by cost estimation. This phase ensures that proposed changes align with the software’s objectives and constraints.
This phase involves designing the new program components based on the identified requirements and specifications, incorporating insights from the analysis phase, and ensuring safety and security.
In this phase, the actual implementation of the modifications takes place. Skilled programmers write and integrate code, adding specifications to support the new software components.
- System Testing
Rigorous testing is required to guarantee that the modified program functions as intended. This phase includes assessments of individual modules, the integrated system, and the program as a whole, identifying and rectifying any problems.
- Acceptance Testing
Third-party end users perform this stage. They conduct a dummy software test (also known as a dry run) to evaluate the modified platform’s functionality, usability, and alignment with user needs.
Upon completion of testing and receiving a green signal from third-party users, the updated application is delivered to the primary users.
The 4 Types of Software Maintenance and Examples
There are four distinct types of software maintenance, each serving a specific purpose. An application may undergo one or more of these maintenance types over its lifetime. These four types include :
- Corrective Software Maintenance
- Preventative Software Maintenance
- Perfective Software Maintenance
- Adaptive Software Maintenance
Corrective Software Maintenance
Corrective software maintenance, which is often considered the most common form of maintenance, is the process of addressing and rectifying issues that arise within a software application.
These issues include faults, errors, and unexpected glitches, and can have serious implications for the program’s overall functionality. Quickly attending to these problems is important, as they can impact various parts of the program, including its design, logic, and underlying code.
One common method for identifying these issues is through bug reports submitted by users or customers. When users encounter problems or disruptions while using a software application, they often report these issues to the vendor. Promptly addressing and resolving these reported bugs is essential for maintaining a positive user experience and ensuring the application’s reliability.
As an example of corrective software maintenance, imagine a web application used for online shopping that suddenly starts displaying incorrect prices for products. Corrective maintenance would involve identifying the bug causing the pricing issue and fixing it to ensure accurate pricing for customers.
Adaptive Software Maintenance
Adaptive software maintenance revolves around accommodating evolving technologies, policies, and regulations affecting your platform’s ecosystem. This includes a range of changes, from shifts in operating systems and hardware to adaptations required for cloud storage integration. As technology continues to evolve, your app must flexibly adapt to fulfill new requirements and maintain optimal performance.
The need for adaptive software maintenance becomes apparent when the environment surrounding your program undergoes changes. This can be triggered by updates to operating systems, alterations in hardware specifications, shifts in software dependencies, or even changes within the cloud storage infrastructure. Furthermore, organizational policies and rules can also necessitate adaptive maintenance.
As an example of adaptive software maintenance, suppose a business relies on a custom inventory management system that needs adjustments to work seamlessly with the latest version of the Windows operating system. Adaptive maintenance would involve modifying the program to utilize the new features and APIs of the updated OS.
Perfective Software Maintenance
Perfective software maintenance involves a deliberate effort to adapt and refine the program by introducing new features that align with emerging user requirements while simultaneously removing features that have become obsolete or ineffective. This process ensures that the program remains not only relevant but also competitive as the market evolves and user expectations shift.
As users engage with the application, they may identify areas for improvement or propose new features that could enhance their experience. These insights can inspire future projects or enhancements, and perfective maintenance works on implementing these changes. This may involve the addition of user-requested features that improve functionality and the removal of features that no longer serve a purpose or align with the application’s goals.
Consider a mobile banking app that wants to improve the user experience by redesigning its interface. Perfective maintenance would involve making changes like simplifying navigation, adding touch-friendly buttons, and improving overall aesthetics to enhance usability.
Preventive Software Maintenance
Preventive software maintenance involves a forward-looking approach to ensure that software remains effective and reliable over an extended period. This proactive practice includes a range of measures, such as making essential changes, implementing upgrades, and adapting to evolving technologies and requirements.
Preventive maintenance also addresses seemingly minor issues that, if left unattended, could potentially escalate into significant problems in the future. These latent faults need early detection and correction to prevent them from evolving into more critical faults.
Suppose, A financial institution’s online banking platform regularly undergoes preventive maintenance in the form of security audits. These audits identify potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the app’s security protocols, ensuring that they are addressed proactively to prevent data breaches.
How Much Does Software Maintenance Cost?
The cost of software maintenance is an important consideration of software development, which often represents a substantial investment. In some cases, it can take up to two-thirds of the entire software development cycle. Several factors contribute to these costs, making them subject to variation based on specific circumstances.
One significant factor influencing maintenance costs is the age of the program. As technology and coding languages evolve, older software may require extensive updates to remain compatible with current technology standards.
This process can be particularly costly. Additionally, identifying precise issues for software upgrades or maintenance can be challenging, and often involves a trial-and-error approach that is time consuming.
To illustrate, consider some examples: if a developer charges $50 per hour and identifies ten monthly bugs requiring 2 hours each for correction, the monthly cost for corrective maintenance adds up to $1000.
Introducing changes to the user interface, which involve a UI/UX designer at $30 per hour for a week, can add an additional $1680. Preventive maintenance, which includes documentation updates and ongoing program enhancements, also carries a cost, depending on developers’ hourly rates.
The Pros of Software Maintenance Outsourcing
The software maintenance process can be a tedious one, requiring constant attention. However, by opting for software maintenance outsourcing, you will be able to gain a team of experienced experts to help you manage this process. Some of the benefits you can enjoy are:
Outsourcing software maintenance allows businesses, particularly startups and small enterprises, to tap into a pool of specialized talent and expertise that might otherwise be financially out of reach.
When you outsource, you eliminate the need for costly hiring processes, training, and resource provision for in-house teams. The expenses associated with recruitment, onboarding, and skill development can quickly accumulate.
Thus, by outsourcing, you bypass these upfront expenditures and gain access to a dedicated team ready to address your maintenance needs.
Access to Expertise
Software maintenance is intricate and requires experienced professionals who can guide the project to success. When outsourcing, you gain access to developers with years of experience and a track record of similar projects.
They understand your unique needs and can provide effective solutions to any maintenance challenges that arise. This access to a diverse global talent pool enhances your maintenance efforts and ensures reliable results.
Increased Operational Efficiency
When your core business does not revolve around software maintenance, outsourcing allows you to delegate this specialized task to experts, freeing up your in-house team to concentrate on core operations.
Your team can devote their energies to critical aspects of your organization, such as sales, marketing, and customer service, while experienced professionals handle the intricacies of maintenance.
Flexibility and Scalability
As your business experiences growth and the need for scalable solutions arises, outsourcing becomes a valuable solution. Instead of the challenges associated with managing an in-house maintenance team, you can seamlessly expand your software maintenance capabilities by entrusting the task to seasoned experts.
There’s no need to worry about team management or motivation; you simply engage professionals who are well-versed in the technicalities. This allows you to efficiently scale up your maintenance efforts without draining internal resources or incurring unnecessary expenses.
Managing software maintenance in-house can be a time-consuming process, diverting valuable resources and attention from core business operations. By outsourcing, you can tap into a dedicated team of professionals with the expertise and experience to efficiently handle maintenance tasks.
The experienced team of professionals can speed up your software maintenance process, enabling your business to implement updates to the program quickly, improving your company’s reputation and increasing user satisfaction.
Why Choose Future Code for Outsourcing Your Software Maintenance Needs?
In conclusion, when you choose Future Code for outsourcing your software maintenance needs, you’re choosing a dedicated partner committed to your success. Our approach revolves around building strong partnerships, integrating our highly skilled professionals seamlessly into your team.
With the rapidly changing trends of the tech industry, our flexible and transparent cooperation process ensures that your project stays ahead in the market. Whether you need an entire maintenance team or specialists with industry-specific expertise, Future Code is here to support your software maintenance journey with flexibility and expertise.