Web Application Maintenance is far more important than making or creating any web application or website and the common thing we all do, we just forget that what I am building today, will need maintenance or support from tomorrow. Yes, this is exactly what happens with almost 65% of websites or web applications. Here I want to clarify at the beginning that the responsibility does not lie with the clients or the customers, as they are not aware of what an application or software or website needs for the long run even in 2018. Primarily it’s not their duty at all but it’s the prime duty of us. When we say “us”, that includes all designers, developers, vendors and other software merchants to make them learn “what web application maintenance is all about!” The traditional software system developers are concealing a secret from us in plain sight. It’s not even a controversial reality. It’s a part of their business model.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking concerning high-end enterprise software system vendors or smaller software system houses that write the tools that we all use day to day in our jobs or businesses. It’s right there front and center. Extra prices that they don’t hide which we’ve become accustomed to paying.
So what’s the secret here?
Well, plenty of traditional software system vendors create extra money for maintaining the software system that they write than they are doing within the initial sale.
Not yet convinced, huh?
A quick search on the term “Total Cost of Ownership” can give you with many similar definitions like this one from Investopedia.
It’s worth holding that sink certain a moment. They create spill the initial terms of merchandising in progress support and maintenance plans.
We Just Don’t Push Web Application Maintenance Services
The problem as I see it’s that within the software or application development business, web application maintenance isn’t one thing that we tend to target. We’d place it in our proposals because we just like the plan of a monthly retainer, however, they’re going to probably cowl easy housekeeping tasks or new feature requests.
It is not remarkable to cover essential upgrades and optimizations inside our quotes for later iterations as a result of we tend to‘re not assured that the consumer can wish to get the things that we see as essential enhancements. We attempt to get them in through the rear door. Or in alternative words, we don’t seem to be open and clear that, a bit like additional traditional software system, these applications want to maintain.
Despite the reasons why, it is ending up obvious that we are accumulating issues for what’s to come. The software or web applications that we’re building here are solely for the long-term purpose. We should think like conventional software merchants. Our product will even now be running for 10 years or quite a while from now, and it ought to be kept very much maintained.
All in all, how might we change this? How would we as a whole as an industry guarantee that our clients are ensured with the goal that things remain secure and progressive? Similarly, how would we get the opportunity to take an offer of the maintenance pie?
What Is Web Application Maintenance Or Software Maintenance?
Porting an application to a brand new server, interfacing with a unique OS, upgrading to a more recent release, fixing a tax table, or comply with the new regulations—all necessitate application — maintenance. As a result, maintenance is concentrated on upgrading an application to make sure it remains productive and/or value effective.The definition of web application maintenance most well-liked by the main target cluster is — ay modification of an application to correct faults; to boost performance; or to adapt the appliance to a modified environment or modified requirements. Thus, adding a new feature and components to an existing application or in other words “enhancement” isn’t, to be precise, considered as maintenance.
In different words, maintenance is important work that has to be administered on a software system application, thus it will continue to reliably and firmly operate.
It is not adding new functionalities. It’s not checking log files or making certain backups have ran (these are housekeeping tasks). It’s acting on the code and also the underlying platform to make sure that things are up to date, that it performs as its users would expect which the lights remain.
Here are some examples:
- Technology and Platform Changes
Third-party libraries need to be updated. The underlying language needs an update, e.g. PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.2 modern operational systems channelize updates frequently. Keeping on prime of this is maintenance and occasionally also will need changes to the code base because the old ways that by doing certain things become deprecated.
As the application grows, there’ll be resource problems. Routines at intervals the code that worked fine with 10,000 transactions per day struggle with 10,000 per hour. The application must be monitored, however additionally action must be taken once alerts are triggered.
- Bug Fixing
Obvious however, worth creating explicit. The software system has bugs, and that they need fixing. Even though you embrace a little amount of free bug fixes when shipping a project, at some purpose the client will need to begin paying for these.
Finding It Difficult To Sell?
Strikingly, when I talk about this with my associates, they feel that it is hard to persuade clients that they require support. They are worried that their clients don’t have the financial plan and they would prefer not to appear to be excessively costly.
Indeed, here’s the thing: it’s really a quite simple offer. We’re managing businessmen, and we basically should converse with them about upkeep in business terms. Businessmen comprehend that benefits require maintenance or they’ll move toward becoming liabilities. It’s simply one more standard progressing month to month overhead. A cost of working together. We simply should place this in our proposition and ensuring that we follow up on it.
A to a great degree viable strategy is to offer a retainer that consolidates upkeep at its center, yet additionally, packages a considerable measure of additional incentive for the client, things like:
- Giving an account of advance vs. KPIs (e.g., traffic, transformations, search volumes)
- Limited ‘free’ time every month for tiny tweaks to the site
- Covering downtime, server updates or development work finished
- Access to you or particular members of your team by telephone to answer questions
In fact, you can influence the retainer to spare the client cash and pay for itself. A decent case of this would be a client’s prerequisite to get a straightforward report or fare from the database every month for disconnected preparing.
You could cite for various improvement days to work out a — presumably more mind boggling than at first accepted — announcing UI or on the other hand indicate the client your retainer. Incorporate inside it an assignment every month for a designer to physically run a pre-set SQL inquiry to physically give similar information.
An unimportant assignment for you or your group; loads of significant worth to your client.
A PRAGMATIC EXAMPLE
You’ll, obviously, have your own particular manner of composing proposals, however here are a few scraps from an illustration pitch.
In the segment of your proposition where you may paint your vision for the future, you can include something about maintenance. Use this as a chance to plant the seed about forming a long-term relationship.
- You are hoping to limit long-term hazard.
- You need to guarantee that your application performs well, that it stays secure and that it is anything but difficult to chip away at.
- You additionally see how imperative maintenance is for any business resource.
Later on, in the deliverables segment, you can include a section about maintenance either as a stand-alone alternative or packaged in with a progressing retainer.
In the following case, I would like to keep it basic and package it in with a pre-paid development retainer:
As already said, this is likewise an awesome chance for irregularity maintenance in with other value-added continuous administrations like performance detailing, directing housekeeping, errands like checking backups and perhaps a month to month call to talk about advance and needs.
What you’ll likely discover is that after you arrive the work, the retainer is then not specified once more. This is justifiable as there are parcels for you and your client to consider toward the start of a project, however, as the undertaking is wrapping up is an awesome time to re-introduce it as a feature of your venture offboarding process.
Regardless of whether this is discussing stage 2 or basically presenting last solicitations and giving over, remind them about maintenance. Help them to remember continuous training, detailing, and being accessible for support. Make the push for a retainer, making sure to talk in those same business terms: their new resource needs to keep up to remain glossy.
Is Web Application Maintenance Really Annoying?
A typical misguided judgment is that maintenance retainers can turn into an extra burden. The worry is that clients will always be ringing you up and requesting little changes as a major aspect of your retainer. This is a specific worry for smaller groups or solo consultants.
It isn’t generally the case, however. Possibly toward the starting, the client will have a rundown of obstacles that need working through, yet this is not bad, but at the same time not enough to blow anyone’s mind; in case you’re encountering, at that point you’re expecting it. These are effortlessly overseen by enhancing communication channels (utilize an issue tracker) and lumping all solicitations together, i.e., taking a shot at them in a single hit.
As the application develops, you’ll drop into a tick-over mode. This is the place the retainer turns out to be especially significant to the both parties. It clearly relies upon how you’ve organized the retainer yet from your viewpoint, you are endeavoring to remind the client every month how important you are. You can send them your month to month report, disclose to them how you settled a slowdown in that routine and that the server was fixed during the current week’s worldwide OS misuse.
You were, obviously, likewise accessible to take a shot at various new asked for features that were additionally chargeable. From your client’s point of view, they see that you are there, they see improvement, and they get the chance to evacuate “worry over the site” from their list. Plainly, ‘those clients’ do exist, however, so the most imperative thing is to get your retainer wording right and oversee expectations in like manner.
In the event that your client is expecting the moon on the stick for a low month to month charge, push back or renegotiate. Paying you to do — say — two hours maintenance and housekeeping every month in among giving a month to month report and other auxiliary tasks are precisely that; it’s not an unlimited free pass to roll out bunches of specially appointed improvements. Remind them what is included and what is not.
So, How To Make Web Application Maintenance Easier?
To guarantee the best value for your clients and to make your life less demanding, use a portion of these strategies when building your applications.
LONG-TERM SUPPORT (LTS)
- Use technology platforms with very much documented LTS releases and update avenues.
- Progressing OS, language, framework and CMS updates ought not out of the ordinary and calculated in for all projects so tracking a LTS version is an easy decision.
- Everything ought to keep running on a supported version. Huge alerts ought to ring if this isn’t the situation.
CLEAN-CODE PROJECT PRACTICE
- Have maintenance assignments freely in your feature backlog or issue tracking framework and concur on needs with your client. Try not to conceal the maintenance assignments away.
- Code level and useful tests enable you to watch out for especially tricky code and will help when hauling modules out for refactoring.
- Monitor the application and comprehend where the bottlenecks and mistakes are. Any issues can get added to the development backlog and organized as needs be.
- Monitor support demands. Are end users giving you helpful feedback that could demonstrate maintenance necessities?
THE APPLICATION SHOULD BE COMPACT AND HANDY
- Any developer ought to have the capacity to get the system up and running effortlessly locally — not simply you! Utilize virtual servers or containers to guarantee that improvement versions of the applications are indistinguishable to production.
- The application ought to be well documented. At any rate, the provisioning and deployment work processes and any exceptional incantations required to deploy to live ought to be written down.
Web Application Maintenance Is A Genuine Resolution
Maintenance is the work we need to do on any application so it can securely stand still. It’s a standard business cost. All things considered 75% of the aggregate cost of responsibility for software application’s lifetime.
As experts, we have an obligation of care to instruct our clients about the maintenance from the beginning. There is an immense open door here for extra income while giving tangible incentive to your clients. You get the opportunity to keep a continuous business relationship and will be the main individual they turn to when they have any new requirements.
Proceeding to offer some value through your retainer will develop trust with the client. You’ll get a stage to propose improvements or new highlights. Work that you have an awesome possibility of winning. Your client lessens their lifetime costs, they diminish their risk, and they get the opportunity to quit worrying over performance or security.
Finally, on a more personal note: “Let us Make Web Application Maintenance turn out to be a genuine common practice of the industry”.
Knowledge is free, so is our mind, just use it. But use it wisely!Rahul Mukherjee – Visual Communication Designer