8 April 2014

Do I Have to Pay You Forever to Maintain This App?

This question pops up a lot when I’m meeting with potential clients. They want to know about software maintenance costs. What happens after we build an app? How do they keep it working day-to-day? And how much manpower and budget will that eat up?

Let’s start with a simple truth: A custom app is never done. Just like you maintain your house and car, you’ll need to maintain an app. But this reality doesn’t have to be scary, budget busting or overly complicated. It’s just something you plan for from the start. We typically work with clients to choose one of four software maintenance options:

1. The Monthly Support Retainer

This is one of the most popular choices for our clients, and it’s an especially good option if you have a large code base. You’ll be able to call us to address any snags, and we’ll proactively work with you to identify and complete routine maintenance tasks.

We already know your software and team well, so we’ll be able to make this process incredibly efficient. This involves a flat monthly fee.

2. Hourly Support As Needed

If your budget doesn’t allow for a monthly retainer or your app is relatively small, you can continue to engage with the Gaslight team on an as-needed basis. We’ll charge you hourly for this support whenever you want to make a small upgrade, address a bug or need help with support requests. The only downside is that we can’t always promise turnaround as quickly as we do for monthly retainer clients.

3. Train Your Existing Staff

Do you already have an IT or development staff? We’re happy to set up training sessions to empower them to maintain and even upgrade your new software. In the past, we’ve done training sessions on everything from Agile development methodologies to the latest JavaScript framework. We can design a session tailored to your app and send one or two Gaslight team members to your company to conduct in-person, hands-on training.

4. Create a New Position

If your software supports a key business function, it might make sense to add a full-time position to maintain this new business asset. The trick is finding the right person to hire.

Since it’s hard to find development talent, recruiters have swooped in to help companies connect with tech talent. Unfortunately, many don’t have the knowledge required to make truly good matches.

What’s the answer? We’re happy to help you find and hire the right person. Our deep understanding of your software means we know exactly what skills it’s going to take to maintain it. Plus, we have a rich network in the tech community to draw on.

Ultimately, it’s about finding the best solution for your app and your company. And making sure your new technology remains a valuable asset for years to come.

Heads up! This article may make reference to the Gaslight team—that's still us! We go by Launch Scout now, this article was just written before we re-introduced ourselves. Find out more here.

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