How to Reduce Software Maintenance Costs

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Rafael Timbó
Rafael Timbó
Chief Technology Officer

Table of Contents

Explore factors involved in software maintenance costs and what you can do to reduce them.
Published on
February 2, 2024
Updated on
April 11, 2024

Software development is a pricey endeavor, but sometimes, the most costly expense is the maintenance that comes with it. Frequently, clients find themselves surprised at how much software maintenance costs. They assume they’ll be paying a one-time fee, not realizing the actual costs they’ll incur. Because there’s much misunderstanding around software maintenance costs, many developers go over their initial budget. In worst-case scenarios, the project suffers so much that it has to be discontinued because no one considered how expensive maintenance costs would be. 

Modern software tends to be complicated, and routine maintenance and support must be conducted to keep the software running smoothly. However, software maintenance can be a time-consuming and often intricate experience, so it’s recommended that software developers invest in a dedicated team to handle ongoing maintenance.  

As you can imagine, hiring a team of individuals can be expensive, thus resulting in higher recurring maintenance software costs. Can you capitalize on software maintenance costs? If not, are there ways to reduce total costs and save money? 

What Is Software Maintenance?

Software maintenance is the ongoing management of software. It involves troubleshooting, developing solutions to various problems, and changing, modifying, and updating certain features to meet customer needs. 

Software development has three phases: pre-development, development, and post-development. Software maintenance happens post-development once the software has been finalized and launched. Despite the developer’s best efforts to launch a seamless and bug-free product, sometimes issues can pop up unexpectedly. It’s up to software maintenance professionals to handle those issues. 

After product launches, these professionals must watch the software to ensure it runs as it should. This is a natural part of the software development life cycle (SDLC). 

Software maintenance isn’t as black and white as it may seem. There are many factors to consider when performing software maintenance or hiring software maintenance experts, including the type of maintenance needed and software development best practices software maintenance professionals should follow. 

Types of Software Maintenance

Software developers must understand the differences between each type of software maintenance, their use, and how to perform each kind. The four types of software maintenance include adaptive, corrective, perfective, and preventative.

Adaptive Maintenance

As its name suggests, adaptive software maintenance occurs when your software needs to adapt to any changes it has experienced in its environment. Common changes include modifications to and in the operating system, alterations to the hardware or software dependencies, and changes to the Cloud. 

Adaptive maintenance may also be necessary when an organization’s policies or rules change. These changes can be when services, vendors, and payment processors are modified or altered. Software must be kept up-to-date and reflect these changes, thus requiring adaptive maintenance.  

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective software maintenance is all-encompassing. It refers to a broad spectrum of maintenance types and can address several components. However, corrective maintenance mainly deals with troubleshooting and fixing errors within the software application. It’s primarily about correcting various software components, including codes, programming languages, designs, and logistics. 

Corrective maintenance usually occurs after a user has issued a bug report. However, some software maintenance professionals perform corrective maintenance to catch errors before they affect customers.

Perfective Maintenance

Perfective software maintenance is about updating and evolving existing applications and software by adding new features and updating requirements. Typically, users may suggest new features they’d like to see as part of the software or notice something missing. They may make suggestions that software developers can then use for future projects. 

Perfective maintenance also involves removing features that are deemed ineffective or non-functional. 

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive software maintenance aims to help developers modify and change the software to ensure it works long-term. It allows software to adapt and change while preventing deterioration and reducing risks associated with long-term software operation. 

Preventive maintenance often involves improving code and updating documentation. 

5 Tips to Reduce Software Maintenance Costs

Software maintenance costs can quickly rack up, but there are certain steps you can take to reduce these costs. 

1. Hire Experts

When dealing with software maintenance, you must hire experienced professionals. Handing these responsibilities to an un-trained individual can result in time wasted and additional errors. 

Instead, focus your efforts on hiring trained and educated software maintenance experts. They’ll know what to look for when performing maintenance and be able to troubleshoot and determine solutions more efficiently. While you’ll spend more on hiring these professionals, it will save you from incurring technical debt and additional development costs in the long run. 

Additionally, you could aim to hire professionals who are both software developers and software maintenance professionals — killing two birds with one stone. This way, your software developers can work on developing and managing your custom software after release. 

2. Prevent Breakdowns

Breakdowns can be costly. They include system failures, viruses and malware, and other virtual attacks. Instead of dealing with these expensive attacks when they happen, it’s better to invest in preventive measures. 

Invest in good software security measures, including anti-virus and malware protection, and make sure to enlist the help of a professional security team. 

3. Choose the Right Technology

Choosing the right technology is another vital step in helping reduce the cost of software maintenance. Technology varies and continuously evolves, so you’ll want to invest in technology that meets your needs. Decide what features are necessary and ensure that your acquired technology aligns with those features. 

The most important features to consider include maintainability, security, and stability. However, there are a few other features to consider, too, including: 

  • Analytics 
  • Deployment
  • Design
  • Development
  • Identification 
  • Testing

4. Use Third-Party Support

Using third-party support for your maintenance needs can significantly reduce the costs you’ll be spending on software product maintenance. Many third-party support agencies exist, including remote professionals or independent contractors. 

However, choosing to work with third-party support individuals may come with disadvantages. You’ll have less control than hiring on-site staff members, meaning you won’t be able to supervise your workers or control how or when they work. Miscommunication is risky when dealing with third-party support agencies, remote staff, or independent contractors. 

To help alleviate some of these risks, consider the following: 

  • Decide whether the third-party individual or team has the capabilities and experience needed to suit your requirements
  • Determine if the third-party individual or team works well with your company to deliver the services required 
  • Check past client reviews, ask for references, and ensure that the third-party individual or team has the proper educational background to handle your tasks 
  • Request detailed pricing proposals 

5. Eliminate Repeated Failures

Failures can be fatal occurrences in software development. Customers are unlikely to wait for more significant problems to resolve, often affecting conversion rates and company reputation. However, failures can’t always be avoided. 

Repeated failures are an even bigger issue, especially regarding company reputation. If your product or service repeatedly fails, your company may seem unprofessional and inexperienced. Repeated failures shouldn’t occur; if they do, they must be found and eliminated immediately.  

Hire Expert Software Developers to Reduce Maintenance Costs

Industry leaders often struggle in their hunt for custom software development experts. The demand is usually higher than the supply, affecting the ability to find software experts and their overall costs.

If you’re in the market for a new software developer who can help you save on your software maintenance project costs but are having trouble finding one, Revelo can help. The process is simple — tell us what you need, and we’ll provide you with a list of top-rated and pre-vetted software professionals from Latin America. Once you’ve selected your top candidate, we’ll handle the rest — including hiring and onboarding details like payroll processing, benefits administration, and tax withholding. 

Contact Revelo to hire expert talent today.. 

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