Change is the only constant in our world, and this is especially true for the cutting-edge IT industry. Technologies appear, change and evolve only to become obsolete in a couple of years. Business owners have to adjust their software products and mobile apps or risk being forgotten and left out in the cold. That is why software rebuilding is inevitable. Today we will discuss the signs that your product is in need of a rebuild and the ways to upgrade your software without breaking the bank or losing clients.
Three Signs That Software Rebuilding Is Required
- You are stuck with an obsolete technology. They must have been cutting-edge when you first designed your software, but now the technologies you use make the product slow, cumbersome, and inflexible. There are better alternatives available that can make your software more efficient and user-friendly. Newer technologies provide wider integration opportunities and scalability for an increased number of users.
- You spend too much time and money on day-to-day maintenance. Even if you still work with the same team that developed your project, the costs of debugging and maintenance become too high at some point. Moreover, instead of developing new features or products, your IT team spends all the time plugging holes in an outdated code. The expenses quickly outweigh the revenue your project generates.
- Your customers are unhappy and switch to alternative products. There is an increased number of declined renewals, new customers are few and far between. Many clients choose to switch to comparable products that provide better user experience and compatibility. A new generation of customers has different expectations and requirements that your software can’t meet. Your revenue is rapidly decreasing along with the number of clients.
If any of these situations hit close to home, it is definitely time to consider software rebuilding. It might seem like a daunting task, requiring substantial time and resources. However, there are several ways to go about rebuilding. You can choose the option that suits your needs best.
Three Things To Consider Before Rebuilding The Software
Before you tear down a perfectly working product and start rebuilding, you need to consider three factors:
Present and Future
You are perfectly aware of your product’s capabilities right now. So make a list of all the things your software can do and then expand it to include all the features and specs you wish it to possess. Identify your main goals to get a better idea about how much work the rebuilding will require.
Limitations and Shortcomings
What are the weakest points of your software? You need to identify the bottleneck that limits the project’s capabilities and cripples your business growth. Decide which outdated features and code need to go during the rebuild. Get a better understanding of why the problems appeared in the first place to avoid repeating them in the future.
Full or Partial Rebuild
It might be tempting to tear down the code and rewrite it from scratch, however, it is not always the only possible course of action. Depending on the problem you identify, a partial rebuild can be sufficient to provide the needed edge, pacify old customers and lure in new clients.
Three Ways To Software Rebuilding
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for software rebuilding. You should consider your goals and possibilities before choosing a rebuilding strategy. We will discuss three ways you can go about updating your software, including their advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.
Buy and Alter
In an open source world finding a solution that meets your needs and altering it might be the cheapest and easiest way to rebuild your product. This option is the most viable for simple solutions for highly competitive industries. You can base your own product on the acquired open code and incorporate small changes to present the finished project to the market as soon as possible. The only major downside to this approach is that the acquired software might not meet all your requirements, and major code transformations require more time and money.
Divide and Conquer
This approach is usually called incremental, for you divide the project into large parts and rebuild them separately, while the product remains online. This approach provides an opportunity to rebuild the code one step at a time, with minimal downtime and less risk of losing paying customers. However, as you “fix the plane in the air”, it takes significantly more time, because developers have to be extra careful so as not to disturb the product’s architecture. It also requires more skill and patience, otherwise, your metaphorical plane might crash and burn before you finish rebuilding it.
Prototype and Expand
This approach is very similar to creating a new product from scratch. You create a requirement specification, develop a prototype or an MVP and then expand it. The first stage of the process requires minimum time and resources, but when the time to expand comes, you face an indefinite amount of time without a working product, investing money seemingly without return. Another risk you face is customer dissatisfaction if the new product does not possess some of the old release’s features. Backward compatibility is a serious consideration if you choose this software rebuilding approach.
Software rebuilding is a bold decision, it requires careful consideration and painstaking calculations. We hope our advice will help you decide on the right course of action to improve your project and stimulate the much-needed business growth.