Application Maintenance and Support — Best Practices
Information Technology is rightly the driving force behind today’s world. Almost anything and everything runs on software applications these days. This naturally puts tremendous amounts of pressure on the process of software maintenance and support infrastructure and the resources. There could be technical glitch and then there could be managerial issues that need to be overcome in order to effectively maintain and support complex software applications.
It is a general perception around that application maintenance is aimed towards bug-fixing or implemented only when there is a need for some sort of remedial action. But in reality what maintenance accomplishes is improving software performance making it highly agile, adapting it to a changing environment and of course troubleshooting it when the need arises.
The software maintenance best practices include ensuring the personnel overseeing the maintenance are well-trained in the first place. There should be a well-documented, systematic and process oriented strategy, creating a scenario to test the results and to include the end user in the process of execution of the software application. All this ensures the software is of top-notch quality with bare minimum bugs.
In the business world there always has to be a rigorous planning and preparation in order to get things rolling. Some applications might need continuous improvement while others would have to be updated at regular intervals. All the possible errors and user needs have to be tracked and documented to give a boost to your business.
The software maintenance and support work starts once the delivery of the software product is done. Maintenance is considered as part of the software development life cycle.
Application maintenance can be broadly classified under the following categories:
Correction: It includes the whole host of work done in order to troubleshoot and fix the bugs that were discovered either by the users or the reports related to errors.
Adaptation: This is to keep the software relevant at all times achieved through modifying and updating software.
Perfection: It is the maintenance done keeping in mind the long-term goals.
Prevention: Ensuring that bugs and glitch do not crop up anytime in the future and so taking preventive actions now in this regard.
The ways in which organizations stay on top of application maintenance:
· Staying abreast of the regulations, policies and practices in order to ensure the software application is in sync with the latest requirements
· Staying on top of client requirements and when the needs change there has to be newer processes, functionalities and improvements in the software
· Every time there is a change of hardware, OS or supporting platforms then the application has to adapt to the new reality
· It is imperative that software systems have to change as per changes in organizational structure, market dynamics, business realities and evolving economic conditions.
Software support is imperative for the following reasons:
· The software applications that you provide could be abused and hacked by unscrupulous elements and this makes the software vulnerable
· Customer experience is paramount and in this regard the software has to live up to the customer’s highest expectations
· The users need flexibility and convenience and this calls for extensive support
Enterprises can stay on top of software application support via Interactive Voice Response assisted by DTMF. They can also provide customer support using live web chat, emails or let the customers speak to the support staff directly over phone or social media channels