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Software Maintenance Costs: How To Estimate And Optimize

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Having a great idea isn’t enough to build a successful software product. Once a product is technically completed, it does not automatically function as intended or meet the customer’s needs.

You must maintain the product’s functionality and relevance, which requires frequent updates and enhancements.

Software maintenance costs can be a significant barrier for founders. So, how can you avoid overspending on maintenance while still ensuring that your IT solutions are supported at an affordable price?

In this blog, Zennaxx shares industry best practices to answer this question and provide effective solutions. Let’s start!


The need to monitor maintenance costs

One of the most critical aspects of software management is monitoring maintenance costs.

Young tech entrepreneurs frequently believe software expenses are one-time costs eliminated with development or purchase.

However, industry experts estimate that over 90% of software costs are due to ongoing maintenance, which many businesses overlook.

This can lead to budget problems and even derail entire projects. Modern software solutions are complex and require ongoing updates and maintenance.
These are labor-intensive tasks that require prior planning. Maintaining customized software can be even more costly because it requires a full-time, specialized support staff.
Proper documentation is necessary for efficient software maintenance because it saves developers the time and effort of sifting through massive amounts of code to find and fix bugs.

Knowing these costs and planning for them can significantly impact a software project’s success.

Basic cost breakdown

Software maintenance is the most crucial part of the software lifecycle because it involves intricate processes with varying levels of complexity and cost.

Companies must be aware of the three main maintenance categories and how they affect their overall spending to manage these costs properly.

1. Corrective Maintenance

This type of maintenance addresses any issues that may arise with the software. These issues may occur during the initial testing phase or after the software has been released to users.

Roughly 20% of all software maintenance expenses go toward corrective maintenance. It ensures the program operates without trouble and fixes issues quickly.

2. Adaptive Maintenance

Adaptive maintenance entails updating software to align with industry standards and new technologies.

These updates keep the software relevant and competitive. It also makes it an essential part of technological maintenance.

Adaptive maintenance typically accounts for around 25% of total software maintenance costs.

3. Enhancing Maintenance

Perfective maintenance is improving software performance, adding new features, or removing unnecessary ones in response to user feedback or company objectives.

Over 35% of software maintenance expenses may be attributed to this maintenance, which is essential for user satisfaction.

While these types of maintenance form a significant portion of the overall expenses, they do not encompass the total cost of ownership (TCO).

TCO includes many other factors. These factors are deployment costs, licensing fees, legal costs, and app store or search engine commissions.

It would be best if you also considered other indirect costs. These include marketing and employee training. They also include hiring specialized personnel.

Factors that affect software maintenance costs

Several factors influence software maintenance costs, both technically and non-technically. Understanding these factors is necessary for effective budgeting and maintenance planning.

Technical Factors:

Non-Technical Factors:

Other Influential Factors:

Considering these factors holistically can help companies manage software maintenance costs and have a more efficient maintenance process.

Wondering how to cut down your software maintenance costs?

Our team of experts is here to help. Contact us today for tailored solutions to your software needs.

Ways to cut down software maintenance costs

As technology advances and new versions emerge, you must upgrade and maintain your software. Sometimes, it becomes more difficult and costly because of regular checkups and the choice of different development technologies.

These are the main beneficial ways to cut down on maintenance costs.

You can get more information on optimizing your software maintenance budget by discussing it with our experienced project management team and starting your project under our expert guidance.

Accurately estimate your software maintenance costs.

Estimating software maintenance costs correctly is essential for calculating the total cost of ownership (TCO) and projecting the return on investment (ROI).

Here are some crucial steps and considerations to take:

Understand Software Lifecycle: Understand the software’s lifecycle, maturity, and potential evolution. Consider how long the software will be used and how it will evolve.

Determine Maintenance Activities:

Assess Historical Data: Analyze historical data from similar projects, including maintenance logs and costs, to gauge potential future maintenance expenses.

Factor in Software Complexity: More complex software typically requires more maintenance. Consider the number of features, integrations, and the overall complexity of the software when estimating maintenance costs.

Estimate Staff and Resource Needs: Determine the size and expertise of the maintenance team required. Consider whether you need in-house staff or can outsource the maintenance tasks.

Cost Estimation Tools: Tools like Galorath’s SEER Project Management Application can help provide precise estimates by determining the project’s scope, complexity, and expected evolution.

Consider a Maintenance Agreement: If you plan to outsource maintenance, consider negotiating a contract with set costs. This can help to graph your maintenance budget and provide a precise cost of future expenses.

By following these steps in your project, you can gain better control over future maintenance costs and make more informed decisions for your software and business success.

Want to Automate Your Business Process With a Software Solution?

Zennaxx, a leading software development firm in Canada, has delivered 700+ bespoke solutions spanning various industries.

Software maintenance cost defined

Changes and updates in software after updates are necessary to keep your customers engaged.

Every improvement leads to a small maintenance cost. Although the software is running perfectly smoothly due to market improvements, this also creates loopholes in your budget.

Software maintenance is a big part of the overall cost of owning software. It makes up about 75% of the total cost. Here’s we understand the various types of software maintenance costs:

Knowing and planning for multiple maintenance costs helps you control long-term software expenses. This information will help you make a better decision about your new project.

How can Zennaxx help with software maintenance costs?

Every small part of cost-cutting matters in software development. Zennaxx helps you identify possibilities for cost savings without sacrificing quality by closely studying every facet of your software maintenance process.
We offers strategies for streamlining processes, reducing manual labor, and optimizing resources, ultimately leading to long-term cost savings.
Zennaxx uses modern tools and technologies to reduce manual labor in software maintenance.

Zennaxx’s developers use advanced technology to speed up processes, reduce human error, and lower long-term costs.

Combining new technologies and our previous software development experience makes us a perfect fit for your future project.

Why choose Zennaxx for software maintenance costs?

Zennaxx software solutions show a rough graph of projected maintenance costs over time.

It helps you make more accurate budget planning and software health decisions.

With 15 years of software development experience, we understand the intricacies of software maintenance and can make better suggestions.

We help identify critical cost components and possible outcomes by changing parameters, allowing for early testing of design, functionality, and cost tradeoffs during the development cycle.

We have experience maintaining various types of software and dealing with multiple business models, allowing us to make tailored recommendations based on your specific needs and goals.

Zennaxx software solution is your long-term partner in ensuring the health and success of your IT systems.

Our expertise in software maintenance and cost analysis will assist you in making informed decisions that are in line with your business objectives.

Contact us to help you optimize your software solutions for long-term success.


Want to develop a software as per your business needs?



Kunal Vaja

Founder & CEO, Zennaxx
Kunal Vaja is founder of Zennaxx, a prominent software and mobile app development company. With 10+ years of IT consulting experience, he specializes in mobile app and software development, UI UX design, and DirectX. Kunal is dedicated to assisting businesses in turning their concepts into successful software, websites, or mobile apps that foster innovation and deliver tangible value for clients.


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