Written on 26th April 2022 - 3 minutes

Support vs Maintenance: what is the difference?

Support vs Maintenance what is the difference blog cover

Often referred to as the same thing, both software support and software maintenance have differences which can be broken down by urgency and requirements. Often clients ask for a combination of support and maintenance and the services are often joined together – hence why there’s often some confusion between the differences. Having support and maintenance covered from the outset is key, so it helps to know exactly what’s meant by ‘support’ and ‘maintenance’ before you begin. 

Below we explore the key differences between support and maintenance and how they can be broken down. 

 Support  – Spot, solve and find a solution to fix 

 

This is usually when something needs to be urgently looked at, for example, a system that has gone down or a bug that needs urgently fixing. You work ad-hoc and reactively to get up and running again to avoid loss of business. Support agreements usually start with SLA (service-level agreement) to identify how the response to the problem will be handled. Once the problem has been resolved, there are often issues that arise during fixing that need further maintenance work (especially if the system has not been maintained for a while). This is similar to an old vintage car, if not looked after and updated, mechanical maintenance is required to keep it in a drivable state. If ignored, this could result in a costly repair.  

Support vs Maintenance blog graphic

MaintenanceSustain, maintain, and prepare a roadmap 

 

Very similar to how a car has to be maintained and looked after with MOTs, services and tyre checks, so does your system, it’s just not always obvious. Scheduled, non-urgent work is required to fix issues that may cause problems in the future. These can be planned into the roadmap to address and cover new software releases and planned checks, making sure your system develops and works most efficiently for your business. It is advised to have a support package that covers not only access to a technical team but includes system health checks to ensure you are ready for whatever your software decides to throw your way. 

“Software Solved cover ‘ business as usual’ technical support for our main customer database and online portals. As you can imagine this support is quite critical to our business and customer focus. We have a great support management relationship. Requesting support is so easy and the team are always on hand to support and offer advice on the best solutions with a real personable approach. We have worked with Software Solved for many years and they are very familiar with our business processes and organisational objectives which really works for us when tackling any issues or considering potential system changes to support business needs. The support team are extremely flexible when managing workloads and slotting in any regulatory or business-critical requirements in line with other scheduled work tasks with clear communication on prioritising tasks.”

Sandra Harmon, Project Manager & Data Protection Officer at HSF 

If you are looking to implement software support for your business, we have created a blog featuring 10 questions we advise asking a potential support partner. This will help you to make the best-informed decision and give you a few ideas of what to ask. We have also previously discussed proactive vs reactive support and the importance of being prepared, setting out a road map to ensure future-proofing yourself when it comes to your software system. 

We have been working within the support space for over 20 years, using knowledge and expertise that we have developed support packages to cater for all industries. We proactively work to ensure all systems are maintained to the optimum level. Get in contact today to discuss our support packages specifically designed with your requirements in mind. 

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