How Application Support and Maintenance Level Up Operational ALM

Each business, depending on its scale and industry, has a unique set of problems. And any business owner propelling for growth knows, that each problem has a unique IT solution available, in the form of an application or software. Now that everyone is vying for growth, everyone is also looking forward to integrating software solutions to his/her business processes. This is where the problem arises. 75% professionals feel, their IT projects are bound to fail. Here, failure meaning, that the application is unable to deliver the results it was designed for. Imagine, after going through the pain of calling for quotes, selecting a developed, briefing the developer, testing & trials and finally the delivery of the application, you find – that it is not working as planned. This can lead to disastrous results for your business:

a. Slow downed business processes:

If the application or software was supposed to expedite a particular business process, it will not happen now. Instead, the new and dysfunctional application can actually slow down the process. Developing a new one from scratch would mean increased sunk costs, and ultimately increased overhead IT expenditure.

b. Loss of business/clientele:

Your business may not be able to provide the deliverable on time, leading to bad marketing and might result in loss of clientele or business. Those who know the criticality of quality in delivering will also understand that sometimes a small deviation can lead to a big loss. A failed business application can prove to be that very deviation.

c. Increased time in decision-making:

The people, who were to make decisions based on the data/solutions provided by your application, will fail to do so. And, instead of expediting the process, your application will end up pulling the entire decision making cycle down. Any of these disasters may occur, if the application is not performing up to the mark. That said even if your application is working, most of the businesses do face one of the following problems:

a. Increased User-Base:

You created an application that can handle data of 1000 employees. After integrating it to operations, it is seen that it will require inputs of another 200 employees. The entire capacity geos for a toss.

b. Bugs in your application:

You application is working, but at a very slow rate. Probably so slow, that your employees prefer going manual, than using the application. Result – loss of employee morale and slowed business processes.

c. Difficulty in comprehending the tech:

Your employees are unable to adapt to the application, because of its complicated design or newer technology. Now what? These problems may easily clog your business, and each one of them has a potential to drastically pull down your bottom-line. -Solution? - A simple Support and Maintenance Services provider. Not all software developers provide a Support and Maintenance Service, in their development contract. Most of the developers will state that their job is over with the completion of Software Development Lifecycle. The real trouble for the business owner lies in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), a more holistic view at the solution. ALM is a simple set of processes like - requirements management, software architecture, computer programming, software testing, software maintenance, change management, continuous integration, project and release management. A Support and Maintenance Service can make ALM so smooth, that a software will not only be able to deliver its decided results, but might exceed its utility. Support and Maintenance Services help you with:

1. Product Enhancement:

It is highly possible, that while integrating your application to your business, you find that it needs a few more tweaks and features in order to reap the desired benefits. With Product Enhancement Services you have an opportunity to add functionalities, new reports, core data and new modules. Your software will be able to adapt to your dynamic needs. Simple.

2. Application Maintenance:

Your built application works smoothly in its mint condition, with sample data. That said, the real test begins when the application is put to use and exposed to live data. To succeed in real waters, your application will require regular tweaks and adjustments. Application Maintenance Services, help you do exactly that. In broader light, Support and Maintenance is as important as the development of the application/software. Support and Maintenance simply allow your project to perform as planned, and immune it from any externalities. If you think how big these externalities can be, here is the data – For every $1 billion invested in USA, $122 million is lost because of lacking project performance. This translates to approximately a failure rate of 10%. When big businesses and expansion are your motive, this very 10% rate can be a big headache. Hiring a Support and Maintenance Services provider, or putting it in your contract with your developer will help you avail the following services, in detail:

1. Up-Gradation (Perfective Maintenance):

New algorithms and modules are added, as and when they are developed. These algorithms and modules add new features and functionalities, which are to the mark with the market. This might result in reduced IT expenditure and savings on IT overheads, greater utility of tools, uniformity in tools used throughout the organization resulting in better user-experience, etc.

2. Need Relevance (Adaptive Maintenance):

The application will be able to cater to any contingent needs of the business. For instance – increased user-base, requirement of value added features, etc. This would also include any help required in training your employees on utilizing the application/software, thereby getting the maximum value of your investment. 

3. Quality Control (Emergency, Preventive and Corrective Maintenance):

Such services would include bug fixing and error correction; i.e. if any mistake was in the code during the development phase, this service would ensure that the software eradicates any such errors and gives the planned output without any hindrances.

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