5 Ways to Improve and Enhance Your Application Maintenance and Support Program

If you are running a successful and a growing enterprise, then you must be accustomed to the rapidly changing application management philosophy of today’s world. It is vital that your company must take the right steps to quickly adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of the market to stay competitive. Most enterprises know the reality that they have to keep their applications in the best of condition to tackle the needs and requirements of their clients, which ultimately can transform into business growth. However, keeping your application updated and maintained is not an easy task, as improvement is almost impossible to achieve without any concrete plan or strategy. So, today, we are going to check out the ways how enterprises can improve their application maintenance and support plan to bring growth and efficiency to their work.

1. Enhance the defect tracking process

Defect tracking means tracking the errors in the application that you have. The process involves tracking of issues right from the software inception point to the end. Defect tracking requires logging, scrutiny, testing, feedback recording, and rectification. In fact, the final part of the defect tracking is creating a new version of the software so that the error is rectified and solved. Defect tracking can be implemented in any engineering process; however, it is most frequently used in software engineering and application maintenance, as a typical I.T product possesses hundreds of bugs and issues. When you and your team want to solve these defects, first of all, you have to verify, manage, evaluate, prioritize, and rectify defects. The process is regarded as a very tedious task, especially because large number errors are found. But, your team has to locate and track these defects and solve the issues quickly in large chunks. You can take the help of a defect tracking and management system just to make the process a lot simpler and easier.

2. Proper testing to improve the process

Testing is a vital piece of the puzzle called application maintenance and support. Since an application is used for several years, it is evident that the system’s environment has to be changed, corrected, or modified at some point in time. After the changes are made, proper testing has to be implemented, and this form of testing is called maintenance testing. In most cases, this form of testing is done in 2 different parts.
  • The first part involves testing the actual modifications and changes, just to check how the system is behaving because of them. If any new feature or specification is added, then testing becomes even more pivotal.
  • The second part involves regression testing just to make sure that the system is working correctly. Regression testing also checks whether the system is ill affected by the maintenance and the support work or not. If any problems are found, then rectification becomes easier thanks to the testing.
In a nutshell, if any maintenance is done, or even if regular maintenance is done, testing becomes vital to improve the effectiveness of the support.

3. Continuous improvement for support packages

When you want your maintenance and support plan to work smoothly, you have to opt and go for support packages. As the name suggests, support packages are those patches that are implemented during the maintenance program to rectify or resolve any issue. The support packages generally contain the following the updates/updates that have to be put in:
  • New set of codes or patches
  • New Bug fixes
  • Issue analysis
  • Troubleshooting
  • Application upgrades
  • System status
  • Performance checks and monitoring
Mostly, these packages are created so that you can easily implement them in your regular maintenance schedule. However, most are designed in a way so that you do not lose any data or have any interruptions in your system. The issues these packages solve are then documented so that effective defect management program can be implemented. Since most support packages have to be updated as per the current scenario or environment, it may become difficult for your in-house maintenance team to come up with new updates quickly. It would be better if you opt for outsourcing application maintenance, as there are third party I.T. companies that offer this service to all active clients. The outsourcing option is a much more relevant and a cost effective solution against to creating and improving in-house support packages or other support improvement plans.

4. Code changes and code optimization

Any defect in your application may arise from an abnormality in codes. In fact, any rectification may also bring code changes and code optimization. If you want to improve your maintenance and support system, then making code optimizations and modifications might just be an everyday thing for you. Let us understand this with an example. During any re-engineering process, the analyst or the software professional may opt for code changes to rectify any issue or problem. For instance, an application may rely on multiple loops and these loops may be involved to achieve a certain scenario. However, due to large amounts of data involved in processing, these multiple loops may cause major performance degradation. The analyst, in order to rectify the situation, will suggest reducing the number of loops— this implantation will occur only because of code optimization to achieve the best results. Your team and you have to keep code changes and optimization on standby if there is a need to rectify any similar scenario. The code tinker may also be done if the analyst or the team feels that the current codes are not up to the mark, or is not justifying the current environmental scenario. These code modifications would certainly enhance the efficiency of the application and overall business growth.

5. Try to bring in round the clock support for greater efficiency

Wouldn’t it be nice if you have a 24x7 dedicated team to look after and support your applications and systems? Well, your applications do require support and monitoring all the time. So it will always be preferable if you have round the clock support to look after your applications. This planning would be deemed very beneficial as it will be termed as a very high-level service strategy. Since critical applications have to run seamlessly 365 days a year; it is vital that you must protect these systems seven days a week! Round the clock support will ensure that your systems run at peak and optimum performance levels at all times and deliver the output that is expected from them. The complete dedication to support will boost your maintenance and support program as it will certainly provide more edge to the whole cause. Many outsourcing firms nowadays offer round the clock support to their customers/clients for seamless bug-free application maintenance. They do this on a global scale by distribution the process on to multiple teams in shifts and also to teams based on multiple locations. Application maintenance and support is a very vast topic that enterprises ponder upon for years to find the right balance. We hope that this little guide has all the potential to provide your maintenance process with an improved boost.

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