Your company’s software also requires regular oil changes

As Watts Humphrey, an icon of software quality development, said some twenty years ago, ”every company is a software company”. Humphrey knew what he was talking about. A company’s core functions have, in all likelihood, been digitalized, no matter how far away its business sector seems to be from anything to do with computers or bits of code.

Software is the driving force that powers business critical systems. Everything must function without interruption, or else there will be problems. A disturbance in e-commerce means a direct loss of money, and the longer the outage lasts, the greater the loss. If the systems that control machinery in a factory do not operate properly, production downtime can lead to severe problems for the company.

As Humphrey put it, business is powered by software. That is why operating models have been developed to make sure that production keeps running and online stores can do business every hour of the day. Software life cycle management, i.e. application management, ensures that things keep rolling non-stop.

Taking care of a company’s competitiveness

“Cars are serviced regularly to avoid failure at a critical moment. The oil is changed and wear parts are replaced before wear-out. Application management works the same way. Software and its components are regularly updated and, thanks to predictive maintenance, problems can hopefully be addressed before they surface,” says Tero Kivistö, Director, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) from Etteplan.

The world changes and evolves constantly, and maintenance alone is not always enough. To keep a company competitive, software must be developed gradually without a step change and massive projects spanning several years. This kind of incremental development is an agile approach as it allows for altering the existing code to improve functionality, repairing software bugs and making new integrations into back-end systems.

A major advantage of incremental development is that code improvements and debugs can be quickly put into production. In the best-case scenario, repairing minor problems is a matter of hours, with no need to set up a heavy project structure and waste days.

Etteplan ALM is a suitable solution for many kinds of companies from agile startups to multinational groups. In line with today’s requirements, the model is highly scalable and operates non-stop 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Response times can be very fast, if required, especially if the company’s business is heavily based on digital systems. The idea is to carry out the necessary measures as sensibly and cost-effectively as possible,” Kivistö says.

A partner takes away part of the pressure

Partnering in application management makes sense in many ways. When a partner keeps systems up and running, the company can focus on its core business and management can have a good night’s sleep. Larger companies can consider how to allocate resources in the most cost-effective way by having a partner take care of a certain part of the maintenance.

Application management also ensures that knowledge is retained in the company for the future. People change jobs, and if an in-house system specialist leaves, the company may lose a large part of its competence. Subcontracted application management also reduces this risk – in that case the partner ensures that competence is always up to date and systems are continually developed.

“When selecting a partner for application management, make sure that they have extensive knowledge of a number of different software solutions. Larger companies in particular can have parallel systems based on an ancient code accompanied by the latest cloud technology. In a situation such as this, a knowledgeable partner can be a strong support in upgrading the systems. Systems can perfectly well be used in parallel and modernized gradually in a flexible manner. There is no need to make a step change, which saves both nerves and money,” Kivistö says.

Read more about Etteplan ALM

Etteplan Tero Kivistö

Tero Kivistö

Director, Application Lifecycle Management
+358 50 486 7783
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