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Software Maintenance – Effectively Manage a Cycle that Never Ends

Any software that is brought to life through development doesn’t end after its launch. On the other hand, it is just the beginning of the new product. Read our exclusive update on the benefits and significance of software maintenance in ensuring a product’s endless cycle of productivity.
software maintenance effectively manage a cycle that never ends | Binmile

The most notable thing with building a software solution is that the cycle of its iteration is not a one-time fix-remedy. In truth, it is a continuous process of fixing vulnerabilities to keep the product up and running. This is where the role of software maintenance means great virtue.

Here is our detailed rundown of the software maintenance guide encompassing its significance, types, models, and other aspects.

What is Software Maintenance?

Software maintenance holds an extremely valuable role in the SDLC or software development life cycle. The role of maintenance in SDLC comes after an MVP (minimum viable product) is launched.

So, it is the last and very important step that sets the course of productivity of your software solution, in due course of time.

However, the main purpose behind software maintenance is not just keeping the product in working condition. Rather, the focus is to keep it in a better and improved version, according to the changing market demands.

What is the End Goal of Software Maintenance?

Software maintenance is about nurturing and improving the capabilities of the software to achieve the desired goals, such as –

What is the Cost of Software Maintenance?

Software maintenance services are contract-based offers from technology vendors after the delivery and deployment of the product. The cost of such services is associated with the percentage of the original cost of software development as agreed between the vendor and the client.

In some cases, the cost could be two-thirds of the entire software development lifecycle or over 50% of the SDLC processes.

We, however, recommend you consult an experienced software development company for an exact cost estimation on your ambitious project.

Categories of Software Maintenance

1. Adaptive –

In this category of software maintenance guide, some changes that tech teams make ensure that the software is compatible with the changing environments, in terms of technologies, policies, and regulatory compliances. It is the classic form of keeping a product free from faults and errors.

2. Preventive –

It keeps software in working condition for as long as possible. This involves ensuring relevant changes are made to the product, apart from upgrades and adaptations. The goal here is to address small issues to prevent them from getting worse for the lifespan of the software in the future.

3. Corrective –

In this category, maintenance focuses on detecting and fixing errors and mistakes in the current software solution for optimized performance. The goal is to keep the product unaffected from getting impacted by faults and errors in its functionality.

corrective software maintenance | Binmile
Source: Dilbert.com

4. Perfective –

It ensures that the performance of the software is improved by fine-tuning all the elements of the product, like functionality and capabilities. The aim here is to re-capacitate the software with new and relevant features by replacing unwanted ones. It ensures the relevance of the product in the market.

Also Read: Software Development Trends

Software Maintenance Market Analysis

The software maintenance market globally was reportedly expected to grow by $61 billion. The anticipated growth of the same is at a CAGR of 8.51%.

software maintenance market analysis | Binmile
Source: SpendEdge

What is the Importance of Software Maintenance for Businesses?

What would the lifespan of software be if not maintained consistently? Obliviously, it would mean counterproductive for the health and performance of the product in due course of time.

Therefore, our software maintenance guide is extremely useful. The main goal is to ensure feature enhancement and maintain consistent performance and productivity of the solution. If ignored, your product will encounter the problem of being less efficient for end-users.

Read More: Application Software Types

5 Reasons Why Software Maintenance is Important:

1. Detecting And Fixing Bugs

One of the key reasons for conducting software maintenance is to identify and fix bugs. It ensures that any conceivable factor hampering the performance of the product is dealt with effectively.

Bug fixing ensures the seamless performance of your software solution. It involves finding code-related errors and fixing them. These issues generally occur in operating systems, hardware, or any part of the software.

Also, bug fixing should align with the idea that the rest of the functionalities of your software don’t get affected.

2. Capacity Enhancement

It means improving the features and functionalities of the product to ensure its compatibility with the changing market demands. Improvements related to software platforms, hardware upgrades, and other elements affecting system workflow collectively enhance the capabilities of the product.

3. Removing Unwanted Functions

Regular and timely maintenance ensures early detection of bugs, faults, or errors in the software. It also ensures finding unwanted or outdated functions in the product and removing them. An example of this upkeep is replacing UI and coding elements with new development using modern tools and technologies.

4. Ensuring Performance Consistency

The goal of systematic and diligent maintenance is to ensure that the software performs consistently. From early detection of bugs and other vulnerabilities to their immediate removal, maintenance results in the continuous performance of your software.

5. Improved Data Security

Because of software maintenance, you can re-engineer data, fix bugs, and overcome encoding constraints. This, in turn, keeps your product from becoming vulnerable to security threats. Most importantly, it also prepares you for the worst situations, like a total blackout.

Also Read: Performance Testing to Performance Engineering

Phases of Software Maintenance Life Cycle

Software maintenance ensures the full-fledged optimization of your product. Firstly, it induces capacity enhancement. Secondly, there happens the removal of unwanted features. Thirdly and most importantly, it ensures the performance consistency of your product in the long run. Read our rundown on key phases of the software maintenance life cycle.

phases of software maintenance lifecycle | Binmile
Source – ecomputernotes.com

1. Problem Identification

problem identification | Binmile
Source – ecomputernotes.com

This phase includes different elements, such as –

  • Identifying modification requests
  • Assigning identification numbers
  • Classifying modification requests into relevant categories, like preventive, corrective, adaptive, etc.
  • Prioritizing each modification request to ensure their sequence-wise process.
  • Assigning priority to each modification

2. Analysis Phase

Tech teams determine the scope and feasibility of modification requests validated. This phase also involves ideation and planning regarding possible changes to be included in the software.

Validated modification requests, project documents, and repository information are certain inputs in this phase. Processes involved in this phase include conducting the technical review, verifying test strategy, and identifying security issues.

3. Design Phase

design phase | Binmile

Several activities in this phase include;

  • Revising requirements and implementation plan
  • Identifying the affected software modules
  • Creating new modules requiring replacement or modification as needed, according to earlier stages
  • Creating test cases for addressing security issues, validating and verifying the system
  • Creating regression tests
  • Inspecting software and verifying design
  • Documentation of updated requirements

4. Implementation Phase

implementation phase | Binmile

Developers modify source code and add specifications. They also integrate new features and modify the product. Project documentation, design phase output, source code, etc. are input attributes in this phase.

5. System Test Phase

system test phase | Binmile

Tech teams conduct a functional review, interfere with testing, and integrate testing between new modules and the system. Execution of this nature in this phase intends to avoid new faults in the software post-maintenance.

6. Acceptance Test Phase

acceptance test phase | Binmile

In this phase, experts conduct tests on a fully integrated system. They verify if new features meet the requirements stated in the modification request. Test preparation review reports, fully integrated systems, procedures, etc. are the input attributes of this phase.

7. Delivery Phase

delivery phase | Binmile

 

This is the phase involving concluding the delivery of the updated software after the acceptance test phase to the users. In addition, the tech teams also ensure the delivery of comprehensive project documentation or version description documents.

Also Read: Software Development Metrics & KPIs in Outsourcing

A Brief About Software Maintenance Models

Software maintenance models come in handy to address problems, both internal and external related to the software. Here is our quick rundown on different models, in this context.

1. Quick-Fix Model

This method is employed to address issues in the software by choosing to prioritize quick resolution over a full-fledged solution. As an ad hoc approach, the model intends to fix security loopholes in the software faster and at a low cost.

quick fix model | Binmile
Source – professionalqa.com

2. Iterative Enhancement Model

In this model, the goal is to modernize an app with new changes which are iterative. The business justification for changes is no longer the subject of discussion under this model. That’s because it rules out the involvement of business stakeholders.

So, changes are incorporated into the software by analyzing the current system. The goal is to rein in software complexity and maintain good design.

iterative enhancement model
Source – professionalqa.com

3. Reuse-Oriented Model

Also called ROD (Reuse-Oriented Development), the model identifies and understands the parts or components of the existing system relevant for reuse.

After identification of these parts, they go through modification and enhancement, according to specified new requirements. Modified parts are then integrated into the new system, thereby concluding the final step of the model.

reuse oriented model | Binmile
Source – professionalqa.com

4. Boehm’s Model

The maintenance process, represented in a closed loop cycle, is initiated based on the economic model and principles. It came into existence in 1978 as a method for measuring characteristics in a way easy for even non-tech stakeholders involved with the software development lifecycle.

boehms model | Binmile
Source -codingninjas.com

5. Taute Maintenance Model

This model was developed by B.J. Taute in 1983. Its use serves the intent of adding necessary modifications after executing the software. It comprises a total of eight phases in cycle fashion.

taute maintenance model | Binmile
Source – professionalqa.com

Read More: Software Development for Startups

Conclusion

In summary, the role and importance of software maintenance is quite valuable. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it an indispensable part of your software’s lifespan.

It is that part of the software development lifecycle from where it ensures that your software is up and running. If development is what translates your software into life, maintenance is what keeps it in sound health.

From keeping your software bug-free and fully updated to performance consistency, software maintenance also keeps your product fully protected from security vulnerabilities.

Besides, it ensures boosted performance and resilience of your product. Last and most importantly, you can avoid the situation of heavy tech debt leading to severe problems in the performance of your software.

However, software maintenance is not an easy thing. It requires experienced tech teams to understand different phases and models in the maintenance processes.

Make Software maintenance simplified with Binmile!

Binmile has a team of highly experienced IT specialists to help you ease your software maintenance processes. Hire dedicated development team to bring out the best results in your software maintenance life cycles, along with optimized system performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Software maintenance services involve the ongoing support, management, and upkeep of software applications after their initial development and deployment. These services ensure that software remains functional, secure, and up-to-date throughout its lifecycle.

Outsourcing software maintenance services offer several benefits to organizations, including:

  • Cost savings: Outsourcing maintenance services can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Access to expertise: Outsourcing providers often have specialized skills, knowledge, and experience in software maintenance, ensuring high-quality service delivery.
  • Focus on core activities: Outsourcing maintenance tasks allows organizations to focus their internal resources and efforts on core business activities and strategic initiatives.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Outsourcing providers can scale their services up or down based on the organization’s changing needs and requirements, providing flexibility and agility.

Software maintenance in software engineering refers to the process of modifying, updating, and enhancing software after it has been delivered to the end-user. It encompasses all activities aimed at keeping the software operational, reliable, and up-to-date throughout its lifecycle.

Author
Abhinay Kansal
Abhinay Kansal
Technical Project Manager

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