What is software application improvement?

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Software application developers and programmers work hard to create the applications we use every day.

Developers also spend a lot of time focusing on engineering, integrating, and deploying this software alongside their Ops counterparts, often in newly created DevOps teams designed to combine the work objectives of managers. two parts.

But not all apps are just created and then removed or deleted.

Life cycle management

Many applications (and larger database analytics systems) will go through what the industry likes to call the Software Application Development Lifecycle (SDLC) when they are created.

The SDLC describes the process of planning, analyzing, designing, building, testing, and implementing.

But the life cycle has other stages of maintenance, improvement and progression.

There are now emerging vendors who specifically describe themselves as application enhancement and maintenance specialists.

Today, user demands are changing so rapidly that it makes sense for organizations to look for ways to extend functionality rather than going through cycles of replacement and replacement, which are, ultimately, always expensive.

How does improvement occur?

Some application improvements will be done internally within the IT department.

These are changes that need to be made as a result of external platform changes impacting the entire industry, new device form factors entering the market or perhaps as a result of developments. data and application governance and compliance.

The first step in improving software is to fix bugs, glitches, errors, and application anomalies. This is also the area where we can design applications to take advantage of better scan, storage or processing speeds if they become available… and it is also the point at which we can design for better cross-platform compatibility.

User-driven external improvement

Another improvement to the application occurs as a result of requests from external users that are generated outside of the IT department.

These improvements are not always so easy to implement in the application stack i.e. sometimes the user base will ask for features that are not easy to code, that do not integrate well in the current application runtime engine and, quite simply, causing a disproportionate drain on system resources.

For example, if a cloud-based application was designed for deep analysis of background data to make it really smart and produce new, sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) functions, it probably doesn’t been scaled and provisioned for large input. / output data loads; as one would expect to find in an inherently transactional application.

For lack of a fairly simple analogy… you can’t just drive a big truck (data analysis) designed for unfamiliar muddy terrain quickly on a transactional highway unless you go back to the shop and start over.

A formality formula

User improvement requests can be difficult, but they can also be easy to deal with.

When business users have identified a formal trade policy change within an organization and take care to document the changes they need, life becomes easier.

When business users submit their application change requests through formalized “improvement process” models (many vendors simply call them that), life, at least in theory, becomes easier too.

In the modern age of cloud connection apps, we know software is changing. Software development professionals now officially capitalize Continuous Delivery (CD) and Continuous Integration (CI) letters because they see the software delivery pipeline is still open and the flow is fairly constant.

Gone are the days of commercially available CD-ROM software (COTS) where updates and new versions only appeared once a year, or less often.

Architectural challenges

So improving applications is rarely easy, usually not straightforward, often convoluted and complex, usually always prone to disagreements, and generally costly in terms of coding time for developers and downtime if an application has to go offline. .

Companies looking to improve their set of existing software applications will need to perform an accurate assessment of their installed IT base and, also, perform a skills audit of their IT department to determine the extent of improvement that will need to be made by them. external specialists. .

It’s important to remember that software changes over time and IT staff will leave their jobs at any time. Ensuring that solid documentation exists is a proven way to keep an organization’s code stock properly categorized and ready for its next change.

The software you use today is about to change tomorrow, so be prepared for that inevitable eventuality and start thinking about future improvements now.


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