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Software development – what happens after implementation and deployment?

Most agree that software solutions are an investment, and the cost varies depending on the type of solution along with several other factors. It's a dynamic project, and the path is often not straight all the way to the finish line.  

But eventually, you reach the finish line. The solution is implemented and deployed, everything is working smoothly, and you can start counting the Return on Investment (ROI) – all’s well that ends well. Or, is it really the end?

Well, not quite. And that's a good thing!  

All software is dynamic

Just because the solution is implemented and deployed doesn't mean it's a done deal. It's not just the process of developing software that’s dynamic; the finished software is too. After implementation, your solution needs to be reviewed regularly – all to ensure it remains effective, relevant, and secure.

Think of software like a living organism, maybe even like a person. It can evolve over time, integrate with others (systems, in this case), and it’s dependent on the external environment – the software is affected by it and must adapt. Because of this, things can happen that affect the software, and that's why we continue to be responsible for it even after it's available to its users.

If you, as a customer, want to, that is. If you just want to get rid of us, that's okay too. But often both our customers and we want some form of support agreement where we ensure the software works as it should.

Support agreement after project completion

A support agreement simply means it is our job to keep your software running. At Meta Bytes, we handle support in two parts, where one covers system monitoring and the other support issues. Support issues can be potential bugs and unexpected incidents that arise.

We also offer something called Managed System, where we perform more proactive maintenance to minimize reactive support issues. We regularly review the solution and its infrastructure and come up with recommendations on what can be improved, so that everything is as optimized as possible.  

Depending on what you as a customer prefer, we can tailor the support agreement to your wishes, and make it more or less comprehensive. What you choose may depend on several factors, such as the internal resources you have and the criticality of the solution we've developed. With a support agreement, we guarantee assistance within X number of hours, where the number depends on how critical the system is. If you can manage without the solution, perhaps by resorting to pen and paper, we take that into account in the agreement.

The support agreement becomes like an insurance, somewhat similar to when we insure ourselves and our body. We do what we can to take care of it but still have accident insurance in case something was to happen. It's the same for the software we develop. It depends on many external factors we as developers can’t control. For example, a third-party supplier may make changes to their software that affects the one we've developed.

Support and monitoring costs

That we continue to be available to you after the solution is implemented also means you continue to invest in it even after it's developed.

Regardless of the level of your support agreement, the cost will mostly be a fixed monthly cost, usually ranging from 10,000–15,000 SEK. There may also be variable costs if more extensive work needs to be done.

The price depends on what is included in the agreement, including how much of the infrastructure should be managed by us, as well as how we should handle issues from you. Another crucial factor is how quickly we should respond to and handle incoming support tickets and incidents and during which hours we should be available. When it comes to support, we offer the option of setting up a support desk where users of the software can report potential problems and deviations.

The support agreement gives you the opportunity to access expertise you don't have in-house. We ensure there is someone who can understand and take care of your software if something happens – so you don't have to.

Further development of the software

Submitted support issues can also be various requests for new features in the finished solution. It's common to realize during software development that you want to do more than initially thought – it's often a real eye-opener for our customers.

As a result, it’s common to have a first and second delivery of the solution, where the second is a further development of the first, with new features you've decided you want or need.  

It's essential to understand that a software project is not over just because the solution is implemented and deployed. Software is a living organism and needs to be taken care of throughout its lifetime. The best way to do that is often through some form of support agreement with the one who developed the software.

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