Technical risk, which is the risk of software becoming obsolete, is a reality of many businesses that use the software in their operations. You need to know the lifespan of your software because a glitch in the system at an unexpected time can result in huge losses. Some warning signs that you may need to rethink your software are if it is registering longer running times and downtimes. Usually, the average life of a software program is 6-8 years. How much longer it lasts depends on several factors, including how extensive the program is and how often you maintain it. Complex software will last for almost double the time.
The lifespan of a 2019 custom software solution
With a custom software solution, you have control over the software’s shelf life. Below are the reasons why custom software can be your lifetime partner.
1. Maintenance and upgrades at your pleasure
When you buy custom software, you have full ownership of the application and can upgrade and add features to it whenever you want. When you purchase off-the-shelf software, however, you only get upgrades according to the schedule of the software developer. Further, you risk your application becoming obsolete if the developer goes out of business. Maintaining software is crucial to its lifespan because it boosts software performance and increases functionality, hence preventing the software from becoming obsolete.
2. Secure against external threats
The software which is available off-shelf is more vulnerable to hackers compared to software which is unique to your organization. A hitch uncovered in a widely-used product is likely to cause massive damage to the users of that software. Since custom software gives you sole ownership, hackers are less likely to find a loophole in which they can invade your system.
Custom software is futuristic as it grows with your business, so you never have to worry about changing the software to suit your needs. As your business is improving and your workload increasing, you only need to integrate additional features into your software, and you are good to go.
4. Technical support
Your application development team will handle any software problems that arise because they know your software inside-out. Without trusted technical support to manage your software when glitches occur, you are likely to encounter issues that you may not have the expertise to solve, which can cause you to abandon software.
Relying on external software affects the longevity of your software
As crucial as maintenance is to the lifespan of your software, reliance on major external technologies reduces its lifespan. Dependency on other external software could cause much more damage than poor maintenance of your systems could.
Recent examples of software vulnerabilities that have resulted in huge losses
More than 60% of the code written comprises open source components. The use of open-source being scarcely regulated over the years has led to increased vulnerability in software products. One of these was in May 2017 when 300,000 machines across various industries, including healthcare, became victims of the WannaCry hack. Hackers targeted businesses using outdated MS Windows software and locked down numerous operations in over 150 countries.
In July of the same year, Equifax credit reporting agency system was hacked, exposing data belonging to 143 million US citizens. The hack was possible due to a nine-year-old vulnerability in Apache Struts, a popular and widely used Java framework used to build web applications.
Custom software lasts longer than traditional software because it can overcome the many challenges of off-the-shelf-software. The unlimited vendor support you will receive makes custom software an evolving solution that keeps up with the pace of your business. Moreover, it is possible to integrate it with new systems, so it is unlikely to become obsolete.