Software Maintenance Costs

Maintenance of software is crucial, as does the development of software. It can help improve the efficiency of software for business while also increasing the flexibility to adapt to evolving business conditions. Even if you’ve created highly reliable and safe software for your company, it will likely show flaws and errors over time. This is when you’ll require software maintenance services for your software and the amount that maintenance costs.

Many business owners need to be made aware of the importance of maintaining software and thus only utilize the services of software developers. At the end of the day, if the software begins to show problems or bugs, they have to incur huge maintenance charges. Software developers will always advise maintaining their software in a proper manner as well as its development.

Many software development clients need to understand the cost they’ll incur and think that the software development services are a one-time expense. There are instances when maintenance costs for software comprise up to 90 percent of the total costs of developing software. Because the cost was not adequately estimated, the budget needed to be met, and, in some instances, the project had to be terminated.

Modern software is demanding and complicated, requiring regular service and maintenance. Troubleshooting is usually long and complex. A dedicated team and appropriate documentation are absolute requirements to make the process easier.

Setting the Context

By 2025, the number of smartphone users in the US is expected to grow to 311 million, creating huge opportunities in the app development field.

In the case of mobile apps, much emphasis is placed on the development stage.

However, those who design and create apps know that underneath the glitter of the process lies a grueling tale of innovation and effort.

Does the story come to an end by the time it is developed?

Absolutely Not!

A robust app requires a solid maintenance plan similar to keeping our electronic devices in good condition. Monitoring performance and making sure that users are receiving regular updates is essential.

Imagine this: You’re immersed in a movie that is a thrill-to-the-seat experience when suddenly the screen disappears. You’re bound to be upset and, if you’ve already bought the experience, you’d want the refund.

The same concept applies to mobile apps that have a strong user experience. Users want a smooth experience free of interruptions.

Regular app maintenance is essential to avoid interruptions like this. However, this can incur an additional cost. The failure to maintain your mobile app can cause your application’s failure, leading to the unwelcome app removal.

The latest statistics show that while the number of new mobile apps available in the store is rising, old apps getting removed cause much concern.

What is Software Maintenance?

Let’s look at the idea of “software maintenance” using a metaphor. Imagine buying the car of your dreams – you will research the quality of the car’s construction, reliability of the engine price, comfort, etc. However, over the long term, the cost of custom software solution and punctual service satisfaction are the main factors that keep an auto fan.

The same applies to software. Undoubtedly, developing software with features is crucial to gaining popularity. But in the absence of proper upkeep, your end users will be faced with UX problems. Suppose you don’t maintain your system correctly. In that case, your installed software may face performance and adaptability issues in changing business environments.

Why is Software Maintenance Important?

Why is Software Maintenance Important?

Each software comes with certain standards of quality that it must follow to provide an acceptable performance. The absence of these could result in gruesome consequences.

To stay on the right track with software quality metrics, it is essential to take care of software maintenance.

As mentioned above, your software may be subject to various gruesome outcomes if you don’t have regular maintenance. A few of these could damage the image of your business.

Software maintenance must be performed for a variety of reasons. Here are a few reasons

Bug Removal

During software maintenance, it’s crucial to identify and correct the issues or bugs. This will make sure that the software functions perfectly and isn’t prone to issues such as crashes, errors, or results that aren’t reliable.

Lookout for New Opportunities

Software maintenance helps businesses keep up with the latest technology and trends. Enhancing your software by adding new features will enable you to keep up with the ever-changing market.

Remove Obsolete Functionality

It is a good idea to look for obsolete components of software. Software is more efficient when eliminating unnecessary features and making code simpler.

Performance Improvement

Maintenance is also about improving the performance of the software. This involves changing the code, how data is saved, and how calculations are made.

Reducing Uninstalls

It is important to remain tuned to users’ preferences and create features that reflect their needs and dislikes.

Research shows that over 70% of people uninstall apps because of annoying notifications.

This suggests that users are highly aware of the benefits and functions and the possibility of deleting your application if it does not match their expectations.

It’s therefore essential to monitor your users’ preferences and expectations. Then, you can adapt your app to meet these needs.

App stores follow strict quality standards. They could refuse to accept the application if your listing is not up to scratch.

A decrease in your app’s ratings could cause the platforms to delete your application during their regular clean-up. Keeping your app updated by adding new APIs and features is a good plan.

Superior User Experiences

No formula guarantees the success of your app and its growth. Providing superior user experience (UX) is vital.

A great user experience can help you:

  • Enhances User Retention A perfect UX will significantly increase your app’s retention rate. The smooth navigation, the minimum loading time, and user-friendly interfaces affect the user experience and their chances of using your application.
  • Enhance Revenue: A superior UX will attract more users, which can lead to more app purchases or ad revenue.
  • Improve Reviews and Ratings: Happy users are likelier to leave favorable reviews, resulting in better app ratings.

Increased ROI in the Long Run

If you upgrade your app, it will provide a variety of financial advantages, like maximizing the ROI. It also helps to continuously find innovative methods to reduce costs and attract new customers. How can regular maintenance aid?

It’s quite simple! When you care to fix the occasional bug, you can split the cost to fix bugs for a time.

Reducing Downtimes and Revenue Losses

Any downtime can lead to significant business revenue loss. Companies like Bank of America Online Banking and Amazon Web Services have experienced substantial revenue losses because of service interruptions.

When your team takes proactive steps to handle these downtimes, it’s easy to trim the loss of money and make happier users.

Addressing Security Concerns

As technology advances, security threats increase, too. Regular maintenance and updates will protect your application from possible vulnerabilities and breaches. It is also important to comply with the privacy policy of each platform (Google and Apple) and local laws like GDPR and CCPA.

Staying Relevant in the Market

Ensuring your app is updated with the most recent technological advancements and user preferences is crucial to remain relevant and competitive. This may mean incorporating modern technologies, revamping the user interface, or adding new features.

Categorizing Types of Software Maintenance

Categorizing Types of Software Maintenance

As app developers, understanding the different maintenance categories is essential to thorough budgeting and planning. When estimating the cost to maintain software, consider these various types that require maintenance to ensure long-term viability and efficiency for your application.

Emergency Maintenance

This maintenance is triggered by sudden, unexpected problems that need immediate action. These issues can be unpredictable and could significantly impact the operation of your application, stressing the importance of quick resolution to provide a seamless user experience.

Perfective Maintenance

As the demands of users change and new features for mobile devices become popular, your app needs to adapt to stay up-to-date with shifts. Achieving perfect maintenance means reacting to feedback and changing the source code for your app when needed to enhance the user experience continuously.

Adaptive Maintenance

To ensure that your app is current with evolving technological developments, it must maintain its adaptiveness. This might involve updating the app to ensure compatibility with the latest operating software versions, hardware upgrades, or modifications to the software environment that may alter the app’s performance.

Preventive Maintenance

This maintenance approach concentrates on preventing possible errors and reducing the app’s complexity to make it easier to maintain. Prevention measures include restructuring the code, code optimization, and a revision of the documentation to improve the efficiency of the application and prevent any future issues.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance fixes the flaws, defects, and bugs within the app’s functions. This involves resolving issues related to design, programming, and application logic to ensure that the application functions exactly as intended.

Factors Contributing to Maintenance Costs

In many companies, software maintenance consumes an enormous amount of financial resources. The cost of software maintenance can be divided into two broad categories: technical and non-technical.

Programming Language

Generally, software created using high-level programming languages is easier to comprehend and maintain. Machine languages are challenging to understand. Also, they have a significant number of issues to solve while preserving.

Module Independence

Maintaining a module is easy. Modules shouldn’t be in co-dependent situations. Maintaining independent modules is more cost-effective and simpler.

Programming Style

The method by which codes are written has its significance. The correct coding practices, such as the DRY or SOLID will save you lots of time understanding how a specific module function.

Validation and Testing

If a software program has fewer bugs, the expenses of repairing those bugs in maintenance will be smaller, as dealing with bugs in software can be expensive due to the massive modifications required to the design.

Application Domain

A well-defined application will have specific specifications. This, in turn, is proportional to the cost of maintaining software.

Staff Stability

When the same group that develops a program also handles its maintenance, costs for maintenance decrease. It’s much easier for the individual who developed the program to understand and modify it than for someone who has to learn about the code and reports.

Program Lifetime

If the program is outdated or you have to replace the hardware in use, it is more expensive to convert it, which is greater than the cost of rewriting it.

Easy Steps for Software Maintenance Costs

This step-by-step procedure for maintaining your software will allow you to keep it up-to-date and productive for a long time.

Well-Developed Software

The first step in the maintenance of software is certainly the development of software. Therefore, concentrate on developing efficient software from the beginning. Ensure you’ve used an efficient software platform with the proper features and functions. Your software will need less maintenance. To ensure the same, employ dedicated developers with many years of experience creating distinctive software.

Software’s Scalability

Make sure that the software’s infrastructure can handle a large number of users. As your software expands and users are added, the number of users will begin to increase automatically, and this is the time to ensure that you keep your software up to date to ensure that it runs smoothly. Therefore, it is important to consider the software’s capacity when developing and maintaining it.

Strong Team

It doesn’t matter if you employ an internal team of software product designers or outsource chatbot software development services to professionals; you must have a solid team.

There is a lower chance of mistakes if software, applications, or products are maintained with expert guidance. Therefore, if you’ve got staff, then great, and if you do not, you should employ skilled software engineers. This will assist you in both maintenance and development.

Check Analytics

After your program is designed, tested, and maintained, the last step is to continue monitoring the analytics of your software to guarantee that it runs smoothly and speedily. Maintaining a close eye on your software’s analytics can help you determine your software’s monthly profits and losses and, consequently, assist you in adjusting in the right direction.

Approximating the Software Maintenance Costs Using Examples

Maintenance is the final stage of the lifecycle of software development (SDLC), and it can consume the most time and cost. The issue is that maintenance could require retracing at any stage in the software development services process to enhance the quality of the product.

When it comes to the expenses of maintaining a product, specific estimates suggest that their contribution is higher than 90% of the total costs of the software. A few decades ago, this figure stood at 50%. The sudden increase in this number could be explained by the reality that it continuously changes and demands constant changes in the product.

Example 1:

Let’s assume that your developer’s hourly rate is $50. They spot a glitch inside your application and calculate that correcting it would take them two hours. If you have ten bugs per month, fixing the bugs could cost about $1000. This is just for corrective maintenance!

Example 2:

You decide to make a few modifications to the user interface following the initial launch. The hourly rate for your designer is $30. It takes approximately seven days to develop the new layout. 8 hours per day X $30 X 7 days = $1680. That’s just the design. You must also have people who can modify and update the application. This is the cost of one-time maintenance that is perfect.

Example 3:

The maintenance that prevents you from having to do it can be calculated – at a minimum. If the project manager’s hourly cost is $60 and it takes them five hours to complete documents, expect to pay $300 for this action. You then estimate the required changes to the software using the hourly rates of developers.

If your app is mobile-based, add hosting fees to the maintenance cost, as both Google Play Market and App Store accept payments to make your application available to download. You should be prepared to pay between 70 and $320 per month.

In general, maintenance for software costs about $5000 per month, or around $60000 for the year. It could be lower or higher, depending on the team you work with and other elements.

Hidden Costs of Neglecting Maintenance

Let’s assume you ignore warnings and consider turning your focus away from software maintenance. What can go wrong? Do you think that ignoring software maintenance is risky? Find out!

Increased Risk of Security Breaches

Failure to take care of software maintenance can make businesses vulnerable to security weaknesses. Inadequate software maintenance can lead to security vulnerabilities that cyber-criminals can exploit. In turn, this could lead to data breaches and other security violations.

Based on Astra Security, it is estimated that in 2023, we will be facing around 33 billion security hacks. On average, there’s an attack on a computer every 39 seconds.

Accumulation of Technical Debt

In reality, most software development teams that use agile methods can tolerate some form of other technical debt. But, it’s only sometimes advisable to prioritize rapid delivery over flawless code. In the end, you’ll reduce costs as a result of changing the code.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance Issues

Inadequate maintenance of software can lead to grave consequences for legal compliance. Many sectors, including healthcare, that HIPAA governs are subject to strict regulation requirements.

Infractions of regulations can expose companies to substantial financial and legal liability. Implementing regular maintenance on software, including monitoring and audits of compliance, ensures compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements.

Challenges in Software Maintenance

Once you understand what software maintenance is, you must ensure that your company maintains software regularly to avoid fatal accidents and reduce costs. In addition, you’ll encounter some major challenges with software product development and maintenance. They include:


It’s among the most difficult issues we face while maintaining software. This is a major cost for companies with budgetary constraints and new on the market.


Maintenance of software is a lengthy process. It takes much time to improve and enhance software. Therefore, companies must make time to allocate specific resources to this goal. This is challenging for them.


Maintaining software without a clear action plan is challenging because it takes time. It becomes a challenge to keep track of and manage the many components.


Because of the plethora of changes to software products, managing these changes for businesses can be less effective. This means you’ll find many errors, which eventually become a problem.

Software Maintenance Models

There are numerous models of software maintenance, but the most significant models are:

Quick-Fix Model

The main goal of this method is to look for issues and fix them as quickly as possible. The primary benefit of this method is that it operates extremely quickly at a very low cost. The technique used in the model is to alter the coding with little thought.

Iterative Enhancement Model

The main reason for the changes made in this model is that they are iterative. Based on an evaluation of the system, the modifications are included in this model. It is essential to have full software documentation readily available before making any modifications.

Re-Use Oriented Model

The portion of the current system being used is identified; this is why it is known as the ‘-use-oriented model.’ After an analysis, the model is modified or enhanced according to the requirements.

Tips for Negotiating Software Maintenance Costs

If you’re looking to hire software developers, it is crucial to secure the best deal possible. Finding a fair price is crucial to ensure you receive the highest ROI.

However, how can we bargain?

The next sections will go over the top six strategies to assist you in negotiating the most reasonable price when hiring an expert team for software development. If you’re a small-scale business or an enterprise entrepreneur, these suggestions can help you get the lowest budget price.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

Finding a fair price for hiring a software development company can be challenging. The trick is to approach the negotiations confidently and with realistic expectations of what you will receive.

Negotiation is a giving-and-taking process; both parties must be able to come out of the negotiations happy.

The first thing to remember is that when you negotiate, it’s acceptable to demand more than you need. Always ensure the final agreement aligns with your spending budget; however, you can negotiate for the best bargain.

If you think the deal isn’t for you, walk away.

Know What You Want

When you hire an expert team for software development, Knowing what you want is crucial before starting the negotiation process. Make a list of the goals you’d like to achieve through the software you choose to use.

Take note of your desired features and capabilities and ensure they are communicated to your negotiation team. Clarifying what you need can help you save time and get the least required features.

Do Your Research

Conducting research is among the most crucial steps to getting a fair price while hiring a team of software developers. It will help you find out what services are available, what it costs, and which gives the best value for your budget.

Researching potential companies helps you understand each company’s uniqueness to ensure you are getting the right team for your venture.

Knowing the industry norm is vital to determine whether a business charges excessively or too little.

The data is gathered through third-party websites or posted on forums online. With this information, you can bargain a fair price for hiring the software development team.

Define Your Budget

When you are hiring an engineering team for software, It is crucial to establish your budget before you begin negotiating. The first step is to set your budget. This will help you in making informed decisions when it comes to negotiating the most reasonable cost.

It is essential to consider the potential cost of hiring a team of software developers, such as salary, benefits, and taxes. Also, consider the costs of any other tools or resources you may require to finish the project successfully.

Understand the Value of Experience

When hiring an engineering team for software development, it is essential to recognize the importance of previous experience.

The hourly rates are comparatively expensive. They usually are more expensive. Their ability to work fast and accurately is worth the extra cost.

The team is likely to anticipate issues before they become a problem. A team with more experience may also have better communication abilities. It will be able to guide the best methods.

Consider your experiences when negotiating a price, even if it costs an extra amount. However, it will help you save time and cost in the long term.

Have Realistic Expectations

In negotiating the cost with a team of software developers, it is crucial to set realistic expectations.

Be aware that Software development initiatives require time and cash. This is why creating an appropriate budget and timeframe for the work is crucial.

Every project faces its own unique set of issues and limitations that could influence the development process and the timeframe. It’s crucial to know these factors and adapt your expectations in line with these. It is also helpful to know how the program works regarding technical capabilities.

Types of Hiring Models to Choose for Software Maintenance

Types of Hiring Models to Choose for Software Maintenance

When choosing the right custom software application development team, there are many hiring models you can choose from. The model you choose will be contingent on your work’s scope and size, budget, and timeframe.

Here are a few of the most commonly employed employing models:

Fixed Price Hiring Model

In the model of fixed-price hiring, the client is charged a set amount to complete the software development project regardless of the time or funds needed for the project’s completion.

In this scenario, the client and team of developers agree regarding the extent of the project and the deliverables, the time frame, and the budget before the start of work. The client is accountable for providing all the specifications and requirements of the work. At the same time, developers are accountable for delivering the project within a deadline and budget.

This approach is usually utilized for projects with clearly defined needs and a clearly defined area of work, like small – to medium-sized initiatives and software development, with the ability to predict a timeframe.

It’s a good solution for those who want to manage expenses and have a clear vision of what they want to achieve through software development.

Hourly Rate Hiring Model

In the hourly rate model for hiring, the client can pay the developer or the team of developers by the number of hours spent on the task.

The client is responsible for the hours that they work, which is usually every week or month. The client and team can agree on an hourly fee while the team keeps track of the time spent on the project.

The model of hiring hourly rates allows flexibility in the project’s scope and timeframe since the team developing the project can increase or decrease the resources needed to meet the client’s needs.

This model is perfectly suitable for projects with changing demands, unpredictable timelines, or clients who want greater oversight over their development. It’s typically employed for support, maintenance, custom software, and web application development.

It is crucial to remember that this method can cost more over the long term, particularly in cases where the project’s scope or schedule is frequently altered.

Monthly Rate Hiring Model

In the monthly hiring model, clients pay an annual fee fixed for the development team’s or a single developer’s services. Client and team come to an agreement on the scope of work as well as the deliverables. The development team will work on the project throughout the length of the contract that was agreed upon, generally one month.

Monthly rate models are comparable with the subscription-based model. They are typically used to support continuing software-related projects, for example, mobile app development, website development, maintenance, and assistance. Customers who opt for this option benefit from a regular monthly price and the possibility of having professionals working on their project.

This is an ideal option for customers looking to outsource a large portion of the development and wish to develop a long relationship with a team of developers.

Hybrid Hiring Model

The hybrid hiring model used to develop software combines several engagement strategies, such as fixed-price material, time, or a team model.

In this case, the client and team working on the development can agree on the scope of this project, the final deliverables, and the estimated budget. However, they allow for some the possibility of flexibility.

For instance, the project could include fixed-price components for clearly defined tasks and a duration and material component for tasks that require clear definition or change in the development process.

The model gives clients greater control over the project’s cost and timeframe while permitting the team working on the project to work more efficiently and efficiently. It is often employed to handle larger and more complex projects in which there may be better choices than a single engagement model.

It’s important to remember that this system can be more complicated to set up and manage and requires good communication and coordination between the developer and the client team.

The Key Takeaway

When software development occurs, there’s no universal cost. The best method to ensure you’re getting the most favorable price in your project to develop software is to conduct research and contact as many individuals and companies as possible.

It will help you determine the market cost and determine if the price you’re being provided is fair. Also, knowing how experience levels, company, and billing methods influence the development costs for software will help you negotiate an improved rate.

The final cost will also be determined by the size and complexity of your project and the resources you have available.

Contacting an experienced custom software development company can assist you in developing IT solutions while ensuring a high standard.


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