Saturday, August 30, 2008

Software Updates - How many of us use the new features?

All Software Vendors charge customers an annual maintenance fees for support ( read defects in the software) and updates with new features. The cost of these fees is pretty high anything from 15 % of the list price to as as high as 30 % of the list price. I find that most applications do not use the new features. For existing applications in production, using the new features means a regression test, for new applications it means undergoing a training and trying out the new features. Do production applications have the budget and time for this or even for new applications do people have time and budget for learning experimenting and implementing. Are we using what we are paying for?

4 comments:

Devendra said...

Hi Raju,
As we know changes in business rules & regulations become daily affair in today's business perspective. Customize business solutions are at the core of every organization. So to keep tuning of software for the daily business requirements & customize solutions, it is necessary to update software by applying those rules, constraints etc. within that.
As these changes are small in developers point of view but may have bigger scope in business perspective, so organization don't hesitate to pay money for the same.

Sujit K Singh said...

Raju,
I think when software vendors releases updates with new features that might not be relevent to one customer but could be quite useful for many other user to enhance their product.

Most of the software vendor provide backward compatiblity in their new releases unless there is some reason not to.

If a production company needs to incorporate new feature as per the demand in their business they would have to go for impact analysis, regression testing etc which are obvious part of SDP. And this is the reason why there are many SDP approaches evolve to cope with it.
Regards, Sujit

Raju Lalvani said...

Sujit,

The pain and the effort required in the SDLC to use a new feature deters most people from embarking on using the new features for an application that is working fine. Have you come across production sites that proactively use the new features for mission critical applications

Sujit K Singh said...

Raju,

You are right if an application is already in production and working well as per the business need there is no need to implement new feature. I can understand that implementing the new feature involves lots of impact analysis and quality assurance planning.
However, it depends on the kind of application and its delivery.
We have seen applications which produced lots of data and require to implement new features to cater the scalability, performance and maintainance etc.
Whether new features are require to be implemented or not is a business decision which depends on the value it will bring.