Jonathan Bennett

Safeguarding Your Custom Software Investment

Custom software is a significant asset for any business, offering tailored solutions and competitive advantages. However, like all software, it demands continuous maintenance and support to ensure it remains effective and secure. This might seem counterintuitive — after all, software that remains unchanged doesn’t change, right? The unique challenge with software is its dynamic environment; without regular upkeep, software can become obsolete or dysfunctional.

Understanding the different types of maintenance your custom software requires is key to maximizing your current investment. Let’s explore the four major categories:

1. Security Updates

Security updates are not just a technical necessity; they are a business imperative. Even systems protected by VPNs can become vulnerabilities within the broader PC ecosystem, potentially compromising your entire network. Routine security updates, when applied regularly, are straightforward and can prevent major security breaches that have impacted numerous businesses worldwide. Accumulating updates and applying them in large batches can be risky and more complex than consistent, smaller updates.

2. Compatibility Updates

As the digital world evolves, software components can become incompatible with newer versions or different systems. Addressing these changes incrementally is the most efficient way to maintain operational consistency. Delaying these updates often leads to complicated, time-consuming fixes down the line. It’s like changing parts in a machine: if they don’t fit well, the machine won’t run smoothly.

3. Quality of Life (QoL) Improvements

QoL improvements are the subtle yet impactful changes that enhance user experience. These can include reordering fields in a form, adding extra filters to a report, or boosting the performance of a slow interface. Such tweaks may not introduce new functionalities, but they can significantly enhance the usability of your system, transforming it from good to excellent. The impact on employee productivity and satisfaction can be substantial.

4. Support

Custom software often lacks the extensive documentation and support available for commercial software. However, this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. Custom software is designed to cater specifically to your business needs, often resulting in a less complex system. Having dedicated support means access to quick, targeted assistance in challenging situations. Moreover, every support request can reveal opportunities for QoL improvements, further refining the system’s robustness and reliability.

Maintaining your custom software is not just about fixing what’s broken; it’s about preserving and enhancing the value of your investment. Regular maintenance ensures your software remains secure, compatible, and pleasant to use, while also adapting to the evolving needs of your business. Review your maintenance strategies regularly and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice to keep your software, and by extension, your business, running smoothly.