It is not uncommon for a business to spend six figures and many months developing custom enterprise software. For most, the investment will bring a healthy return on investment — assuming the custom software platform is architected in a way that efficiently supports the company and its operations. But there is one thing that often stands in the way of a significant ROI: lack of proper software updates and maintenance.
Unfortunately, many assume that software development is a one-and-done sort of project. That simply isn’t the case. You must think of your software as dynamic and evolving and as such, it requires periodic updates.
Why Does My Custom Enterprise Software Need Updates?
Regular updates are critical for a software platform’s overall health and efficacy. Updates can address any number of issues, including some of the following.
- Security updates – Your developers may need to perform modifications to ensure the software is not vulnerable to new and emerging cyber threats.
- Repairs – Problems can arise spontaneously or they may occur as a direct result of some action or circumstance. Whatever the case, periodic fixes are commonplace. The issue may be reported by a user or it may be detected by a QA testing script.
- Optimization – In cases where there are no problems to address, the developers may spend their time optimizing code or making other improvements that will enhance the platform’s capabilities.
Software updates are essential for keeping a platform fully-functional and working its best. Without routine maintenance, problems will accrue, resulting in a platform that is increasingly inefficient and downright difficult to use. The software could even become inoperable if it is neglected for a sufficient period of time.
The longer you wait to perform updates and maintenance on a software platform, the more complex it becomes from a developer’s perspective.
Many software development companies — including 7T — offer custom software maintenance services for the platforms they create. Whenever possible, it is best to hire the same development company to perform maintenance and updates since they are the most familiar with the platform. This familiarity enables the developers to spot problems with ease. They are also better positioned to address those problems since they’re well-versed on the platform’s architecture and technical specs.
The Benefits of Ongoing Maintenance for a Software Platform
Companies invest significant sums of money in custom software development; ongoing maintenance is a way to protect that investment. The advantages of software update and maintenance services are numerous. Let’s take a look at a few benefits of performing regular software maintenance.
• Correct Problems Before They Occur – Routine maintenance typically involves running through the software manually and / or using a special testing script that is designed to test the platform and its many features/functionalities. This process leads to the identification of flaws that may have gone unnoticed and undetected. Once a problem is pinpointed, your developers can work on resolving the issue before it interferes with a company’s workflows.
• Optimizations and Protecting Your Investment – As mentioned above, regular enterprise software updates serve to protect a company’s investment by keeping the platform running smoothly. Glitches and inefficiencies arise over time and updates are necessary to ensure all features, functionalities and integrations remain operational. In cases where everything is working as expected, your developers may spend their time making smaller modifications that serve to make the platform faster and more efficient.
• Maintaining Security Measures – The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing and evolving, with new threats and vulnerabilities arising every day. Your software needs to be evaluated and updated in pace to ensure that all of those vulnerabilities are identified and addressed. These security-related updates are essential for the cyber health of your enterprise software platform. You want your company’s software, its users and your data to be fully protected from all of the newest emerging cyber threats.
• Operating System and Software Compatibility – Your enterprise software system needs to play well with others, so to speak. Virtually all platforms interact with device operating systems and various other software interfaces. As these other systems are updated, incompatibilities and other issues can arise, necessitating continued modifications on your end.
• Add-on and Plugin Updates – Software systems commonly utilize third-party plugins or add-ons to achieve integrations for various functionalities and features. These third-party plugins and add-ons are periodically updated, which means your developer will need to install the updated versions and perform QA testing to verify that everything is working as expected.
In addition to the above-mentioned reasons to perform routine maintenance and updates on your enterprise software system, there is also the issue of new features and functionalities. Over time, a company’s needs change. Processes and workflows evolve as a business grows and scales. Periodic software maintenance projects can be expanded to include the development of new components or API integrations that will support the organization’s changing operational and strategic needs.
What Happens if I Don’t Opt for Ongoing Custom Software Maintenance Services?
On occasion, a software developer may encounter a client that decides against a routine maintenance and update service offering for their enterprise software platform. Unfortunately, in these cases, the company may not see the maximum ROI due to inefficiencies, security issues, incompatibilities and other issues that will arise over time.
Software itself is fairly dynamic and it exists within a dynamic technology ecosystem. As such, regular maintenance and updates are critical for achieving peak performance. Without routine updates, the platform will undergo a gradual degradation process.
It is prudent to allocate a portion of your IT budget to cover ongoing software maintenance costs. Without regular updates, you can expect to see dwindling returns by way of ROI. Over time, some tools and features may stop working properly. Repairs will become increasingly complex and thus, expensive to address. This gradual degradation process is similar to what you will see if you fail to update your device’s operating system for a prolonged period of time.
Maximizing ROI With Enterprise Software Maintenance Services
Keeping your custom enterprise software platform, mobile app or web app updated and well-maintained is essential for maximizing both performance and ROI. At 7T, we’re always happy to help maintain the mobile apps and software solutions that we develop for our clients because we view regular updates as an important part of the long term software development lifecycle.
The 7T development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through digital transformation. As an innovative Dallas software and mobile app development company, we offer collaborative, multi-phased software development services to clients in all business sectors.
Our offices are situated in Dallas, Houston and Austin, but our clientele spans the globe. If you’re ready to learn more about developing (or maintaining) enterprise software, a mobile app or another solution for your organization, contact 7T today.