Maintenance and support of any software for which a business has access to the source code, regardless of when, where or who developed it – that’s the basis of an innovative outsourcing service introduced by IQ Business Group’s genetIQa business unit.
According to Steve Lauter, head of new business development at genetIQa, cost-effective, timely and quality software maintenance is increasingly recognised as key to improving the performance of IT.
“Our goal is to ensure that software works as it should," he says. "We are not concerned if it has bugs, or where the bugs came from. We are also not disturbed at the prospect of incompatibilities or even poor quality programming: provided we have access to the source code, we will assume the risk of fixing it."
Lauter points out that while development of new software applications generally grabs the headlines, it’s estimated that this accounts for only 25% of IT workloads over the life of the application.
“The remaining 75% is usually attributable to support and maintenance, because any software application serves its purpose only while it functions properly, and is up to date with the latest functionalities a business needs in order to perform. This maintenance can often occur long after the application goes into production.
"Any hour of downtime or misalignment for critical software applications can lead to dissatisfied customers, less productive employees, and the business not realising potential revenues and profit,” he says.
Yet maintaining enterprise-wide applications has become increasingly complex, tedious and costly for many companies. Aging mainframe systems, the continued shift to Web-enabled systems, mergers and acquisitions, and global expansion are forcing companies to spend more time, effort and money to keep their applications running at peak efficiency.
As a result, support and maintenance typically eats at efficiency of primary development teams and executive management, swinging focus away from new initiatives to maintenance of older ones.
At the same time a major problem in South Africa is the loss of key skilled resources capable of maintaining the software through resignation, emigration or, as is often the case with legacy applications, retirement and even death.
“Outsourcing support and maintenance to a third-party provider like genetIQa allows the mainline team to focus on strategic direction and development of new applications,” he adds.