What is Software Maintenance: Benefits, Phases and Objectives
Answering the question “what is software maintenance” allows the individuals to analyze the software performance after deployment to resolve the issues correctly. Read further to know more.
If your business utilizes the software for the core operations, then your business cannot stand apart without understanding “what is software maintenance”.
Software development maintenance projects are like the maintenance of a vintage car. Both require regular check-ups, upgrades, and repairs to ensure they perform at their best.
However, unlike a vintage car, maintaining a software development project is not just a matter of dusting off the hood and taking it for a spin.
With the ever-evolving technology landscape, software maintenance projects can be complicated, costly, and time-consuming. But don’t sweat the software stuff. We’re here to take the reins and steer your project in the right direction.
According to a study conducted by Standish Group, around 60% of software development projects fail or are delayed due to poor maintenance. This can result in significant losses in terms of time, money, and effort.
For example, a software glitch in a trading application cost Knight Capital Group $440 million in just 45 minutes. That’s a hefty price to pay for neglecting software maintenance.
The challenges people face in software maintenance projects are varied, but the common thread is the need for regular updates and bug fixes. The good news is that by investing in software maintenance, you can ensure your software runs smoothly, is secure, and has an extended life.
Let’s take a closer look at the various types of software maintenance and their significance in your business.
What is Software Maintenance?
Software maintenance is one process that assists in upgrading, modifying, and updating software to meet clients’ needs. Once the software is released or launched, it is maintained for various reasons, including improving the software overall, addressing faults or bugs, increasing performance, and more.
Your software may require maintenance for various reasons, including keeping it operational, improving features, reworking the system for future changes, moving to the Cloud, or making other changes. A team of dedicated software developers can help maintain your software, and ensure the success of your business.
4 Business Growth Benefits of Software Development Maintenance
Now that you know what software maintenance is, let us look at how it affects business growth.
1. Knowledge of current trends
Technology and business relying on technology are the two most fast-paced, ever-changing aspects. As a result, keeping your software apps up to date is essential for staying current with technological trends and ensuring that your organization can reap the full benefits of new technologies. This is what software application maintenance is all about.
2. Fixed various bugs
The software maintenance packages offered by vendors at the time of software purchase protect you against all bugs and other software issues. These repairs are free because a warranty covers them for a limited time.
3. Improving performance
Most software maintenance programs will include upgrades. The updates are intended to address and resolve issues that users of the application have encountered. These updates improve the application’s overall performance and functionality. Furthermore, they allow the software to last longer by lengthening its life cycle.
4. Improved data security
The goal of software maintenance processes is to make your data more secure. The most secure methods of hosting the infrastructure of your application can make or break your digital product. As can be seen, software maintenance should be taken into account at every stage of the product development process, from planning to post-deployment optimization.
5. There is no need to spend extra bucks
Last but not least, there is a financial advantage. With software maintenance programs, users can keep their software costs under control. Because every software maintenance program covers users for nearly a year, an organization’s investment in its IT department is drastically reduced.
Seven Phases of Maintenance in Software Development Life Cycle
Software maintenance is an important phase of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), and it is implemented in the system via a proper software maintenance process known as the Software Maintenance Life Cycle (SMLC). This life cycle consists of seven different phases, each of which can be used iteratively and extended to include customized items and processes. Let’s take a closer look at the maintenance phase of the software development life cycle:
1. Identification phase
It is where requests for software modifications are identified and analyzed. Each modification requested is then evaluated to determine and classify the type of maintenance activity required. This is generated by the system, through logs and error messages, or by the user.
2. Analysis Phase
The feasibility and scope of each validated modification request are determined, and a plan for incorporating the changes into the software is prepared. Validated modification requests, an initial resource estimate, project documentation, and repository information are all part of the input attribute. It is also estimated how much it will cost to modify and maintain the system.
3. Design Phase
The new modules that need to be replaced or modified are designed per the requirements specified in the earlier stages. For the new design, test cases are created that address safety and security concerns. These test cases are designed to validate and verify the system.
4. Implementation Phase
During the implementation phase, changes to the software code are made, new features that support the current software’s specifications are added, and the modified software is installed. The new modules are coded with the help of the structured design created during the design phase.
5. System Testing Phase
Regression testing is performed on the modified system to ensure no defect, error, or bug goes undetected. Furthermore, it ensures that no new flaws are introduced into the software due to maintenance activity.
6. Acceptance Testing Phase
The user or a third party designated by the end-user performs acceptance testing on the fully integrated system. The primary goal of this testing is to ensure that all software features meet the requirements specified in the modification request.
7. Delivery Phase
After the acceptance testing is completed, the modified system is delivered to the users. Furthermore, the user is provided with appropriate manuals and help files that describe the software’s operation and hardware specifications. After the system is delivered, the client performs the final system testing.
What are The Objectives of Software Maintenance?
To better understand why software maintenance is necessary, we must first understand the four types/categories of software maintenance that are extremely important at various stages of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). The four objectives of software maintenance are:
1. Corrective Maintenance
You have software with existing defects that need to be fixed, and this type of reactive maintenance is known as corrective maintenance. This type of maintenance involves fixing defects or bugs that are discovered after the software has been deployed.
The main goal is to restore the software to its intended functionality and to ensure that it is reliable and usable.
2. Adaptive Maintenance
Adaptive maintenance is used when a software application needs to adapt to changes in its environment and requires modifications.
This type of maintenance may be necessary due to changes in the operating system or hardware, changes in regulations or business practices, or changes in user needs.
3. Preventive Maintenance
The process involved in future-proofing against potential software application vulnerabilities is preventive maintenance.
Preventive software maintenance aids in the efficient maintenance of software stability by optimizing code, updating documentation, and reducing risks associated with software deterioration.
4. Perfective Maintenance
This refers to improving the software application’s user experience and customer satisfaction by adding new features or removing old and unwanted features, changing the software interface, and more.
In conclusion, software development maintenance is a critical aspect of software development that ensures the software remains functional and relevant over time.
In the words of a computer scientist, Grace Hopper, “The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.'”
Software maintenance allows us to break free from that dangerous phrase and adapt our software to meet changing needs. So, it’s high time to embrace the process of software development maintenance and keep our software bug-free and relevant. After all, as the famous programmer Larry Wall said, “Programming is not a zero-sum game. The end goal is not to see who can solve the problem fastest. The goal is to produce the most elegant and maintainable solution.”
In addition, software maintenance requires a well-trained team. Finoit can help you with all your software maintenance requirements with our team of highly experienced developers.
What are the main objectives of software development maintenance projects?
The main objectives of software development maintenance projects are to ensure that the software runs smoothly, is secure, and has an extended life.
Why is software maintenance important for businesses?
It is important for businesses to ensure that their software continues to meet their needs, remains relevant, and doesn’t become obsolete.
What are the common challenges faced in software maintenance projects?
The common challenges faced in software maintenance projects include compatibility issues, data migration, documentation, and budget constraints. It is important to have a clear plan and strategy in place to overcome these challenges.
How often should software maintenance be performed?
The frequency of maintenance will depend on the complexity of the software, the number of users, and the type of industry it serves. Generally, software maintenance should be performed every 6 to 12 months, but it can be more frequent if required.
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