Software maintenance: Definition, its importance, types and how to improve it

The life of your software does not begin when coding starts and ends with the launch. Instead, it has an ongoing lifecycle that stops and starts whenever necessary. Software is always changing and as long as it is being used. And you can monitor and maintain it properly. This is partly to adjust for the changes within an organization but is even more important because technology keeps changing. So, having software maintenance methods is a must.

Software maintenance: a complete guide
Software maintenance: a complete guide

Your software may need maintenance for any number of reasons – to keep it up and running, to enhance features, to rework the system for changes into the future, to move to the Cloud, or any other changes. Whatever the motivation is for the maintenance of your software, it is vital for the success of your business. So now, we – ArrowHiTech would like to show you guys the software maintenance definition, its importance, types, and how to improve it.

Firstly, we will come to the software maintenance definition. Let’s go!

The software maintenance definition.

This is the process of modifying a software product after it has been delivered to the customer. And, its main purpose is to modify and update software applications after delivery to correct faults and to improve performance. So, to give it another way, the software is a model of the real world. When the real world changes, the software requires alterations and changes wherever possible.

So that is all about the software maintenance definition. Now let’s move on to the The importance of software maintenance.

The importance of software maintenance

#1. Bug-free

Software maintenance packages provided by vendors offer protection by keeping you covered for bugs and software problems. To be more exact, maintenance programs allow your software to stay in warranty so you do not have to come up with cash should an error occur. Implementing the right software system is a long term investment and maintaining an active warranty will help to ensure this.

#2. Improved performance with regular upgrades

Improved performance with regular updates

Most maintenance programs will include an upgrade component. Considering the overall cost of upgrades over time, this component of software maintenance is often all that is necessary to make the program worthwhile. If you had any custom work done as part of your original implementation and purchase, make sure to check that this custom work will also be upgraded, and not at an additional cost.

#3. Adaptive to the environment using the software maintenance

Technology and the business environment are two of the fastest-changing aspects of our world. It is increasingly important to make sure that your business is always taking advantage that your software matches the business requirements of the time. Regular updates and software maintenance will allow you to keep up with market trends and ensure your business is as efficient and effective as it can be.

#4. Predictive cash flow

If you cover for software bugs and receive regular upgrades, you can reduce overall IT expenditures to a single fee – your maintenance fee. This eliminates large unexpected upfront costs down the road. For on-premises solutions, most maintenance packages range in cost from 15%-22% of total license costs. For cloud-based systems, you can build these maintenance fees into monthly license fees.

Types of software maintenance

#1. Corrective maintenance

This is, probably, the easiest type of maintenance to identify. Corrective software maintenance addresses the errors and faults within software applications that could impact various parts of your software, including the design, logic, and code. As a result, the role of corrective maintenance is to perform changes to the system to align it with its original requirements and specifications. 

#2. Adaptive maintenance

Adaptive software maintenance becomes important when the environment of your software changes. It entails all changes to the system that were not part of its original requirements and specifications. Sometimes, adaptive maintenance reflects organizational policies or rules as well. Updating services, making modifications to vendors, or changing payment processors can all necessitate maintenance.

#3. Perfective maintenance

Fixing issuing pertaining to the performance of your system is a frequent manifestation of perfective maintenance. Perfective software maintenance takes over some of the work, both adding features that can enhance user experience and removing features that are not effective and functional. This can include features that are not used or those that do not help you to meet your end goals.

#4. Preventive maintenance

As its name implies, it is the type of maintenance you perform in order to prevent something from happening. The focus of the type of maintenance is to prevent the deterioration of your software as it continues to adapt and change. These services can include optimizing code and updating documentation as needed. As a result, your software will become more stable, understandable, and maintainable.

How to improve software maintenance?

Now, here’re some tips on how to improve your software maintenance.

#1. Listen to your help desk

No function in IT has a better finger on the pulse of application performance than the help desk. The help desk gets all of the questions and problems from users. The people who work the help desk know from the calls they get which applications are most problematic, and why. Just as importantly, the knowledge gained from application trouble “hot spots” at the help desk can be learned from so the same mistakes aren’t repeated in new software maintenance.

#2. Sunset the applications that aren’t returning value

Almost every organization has a legacy system that no longer delivers the value it once did. This is a time to consider sunsetting that system and potentially planning a replacement system. This works when there are few needs to integrate the system with other software that is running. In cases where the replacement is viable, you can shift much of your system maintenance for the new system to the supporting vendor.

#3. Cloud-shifting consideration

Organizations using broken on-premises legacy software can consider making a break from endless maintenance by moving to a cloud-based version of the software that is offered and supported by the vendor. In a scenario like this, software maintenance is moved out of the shop and into the hands of the vendor. Yet, one disadvantage is that you never can be sure when the fixes or enhancements you want are going to get done.

#4. Use a standardized procedure in software maintenance

Whether it’s a security patch or feature addition, the installation of a new software release should be uniform and standardized as much as possible for all the devices running on. This keeps the software release process organized and relieves the pressure on the help desk and maintenance teams when software releases are not systematically distributed, and different devices are running different releases of the software.

#5. Engage QA

In a lot of organizations, developers up against tight deadlines tend to throw their work “over the wall” to QA at the last minute. Then, only partial application testing gets done before the app gets deployed into production. Conversely, by thoroughly testing application, post-production software maintenance can be drastically reduced. To facilitate this, project managers need to plug in and ensure adequate times for software QA.

#6. Regression test on a frequent basis

One critical test is the regression test, which places any application that is newly modified in a simulated production environment with other applications. This is to test and ensure that integration with these other applications and called routines are working properly. When regression testing is skipped, your app will break or cause other pieces of systems to break because of a coding error.

#7. Optimize your software maintenance team

There are people who love doing software maintenance, and they should be encouraged and rewarded for their work. Maintenance is also a great area for new employees to begin their careers because they will get a thorough introduction to a variety of systems that the company runs. This will benefit them sometime later, whether they remain in maintenance or move to another part of the IT organization.

Final words

That should be it! Here’s everything you may need to know about the term of a solutions architect and the answer to the question “what does a solution architect do?”. All in all, this role is the underpinning for any IT project, regardless of whether you actually adopt this practice or not. By deliberately introducing solution architecture, they build the framework that aligns technology, resources, and skills with defined business goals. So, this is such a must if you want to develop further.

ArrowHiTech is proud to be one of the most professional IT companies all around the world, we can give the best software development services for your business. You can check us out now: Best Software Development Service