Why digital product maintenance is essential
As cruel as it sounds, developing a slick, modern and, above all else, useful digital product is only the first stage of the process. Once your digital product goes live, you are at the start of a long road to success. You may enjoy a quick burst of success from the initial launch, but, in truth, the development of your digital product is an ongoing process that continues long after the project has finished. As well as monitoring usage and continuing to make improvements to keep your audience engaged, you also need to be mindful of maintaining your digital product in the long run.
The longer your digital product is live, the more susceptible it becomes to external factors that may impact on its popularity and stability. Here are some of the key reasons long term maintenance of your digital product is essential to its success.
One of the most important factors in maintaining your digital product is the maintenance of its security integrity. Security threats are ongoing and always evolving; regular updates to your digital product and its supporting software are required in order to negate any emerging threat not present at the time the digital product went live.
User Experience (UX)
While your digital product may have launched with a hugely successful UX, this may deteriorate over time. There are a number of factors which could lead to this happening, including:
- Changing tastes and trends
- Software limitations, particularly concerning third party software integrated with the digital product
- Changes to hardware and the availability of improving technology
- Operating system updates
To ensure a consistently positive UX for your digital product, you need to stay ahead of the above factors in order to retain your digital product’s audience.
From the minute you launch your digital product, the more successful it is, the more of a target it is for your competition. The ‘day one version’ may well be perfect, serve the briefed requirements and have a solid user base, but it will also attract the attention of your competitors. Your competition will want to produce their own version of your digital product in order to regain any audience you may have stolen, but they will also need to offer an improved version of the digital product. You can stop them dead in their tracks by making sure you do the same. You’ve got your digital product, so you’re one step ahead; make sure you stay ahead by continuing to improve on your digital product’s experience over time. Your competitors will never be able to offer a better digital product if you continue to do the same.
Up to date with updates
Software is ever evolving, and naturally with changes, some things get depreciated in favour of newer, better systems. Often with big software changes and long time periods of iterations it can be difficult to keep up without rewriting software in a whole new paradigm. Without updates, systems and applications may become unsupported and break up to a point that designing new workarounds become increasingly costly, unwieldy and unfeasible. For instance, security vulnerabilities in old cryptosystems can lead to whole networks to be incompatible with newer technologies: New programming languages may lead to whole applications being rewritten.
Even though it seems like a big initial cost to switch to a new framework, architecture or language; in the long term it is beneficial. Quicker, safer and more feature rich technologies, allow for faster deployments and less maintenance.
“Swift and SwiftUI have reduced the cost of building apps by a huge factor. The development cost of an app is probably one third of the cost that it used to be in the Objective-C and UIKit days, so clients can now spend more of their budget on additional features and better user experiences”David Atkinson, Lead iOS Developer
Overall, with shrewd choices of updates and migrations, it is possible and beneficial to keep your applications and systems performing to the best of their abilities without prohibitive costs.
User Queries and Support
If your user has an issue with using your digital product, how long do you think they’ll keep using it before they find an alternative? By offering continuing support to your users, you can help to keep your user base loyal. Whether there’s a performance issue with the digital product or your user has locked themselves out of their account; offering technical support will prevent them from going elsewhere.
Maintaining your digital product can be a costly and time consuming endeavour; overlooking the maintenance can be even more costly and could even render your digital product – and the investment you’ve made – obsolete.
This is why Atomic offer a dedicated maintenance package for every digital product we develop, to ensure our clients’ investment is protected in the long term.
Get in touch with our team today to discuss our digital product development and maintenance packages.