Maintaining Information Systems
“In this chapter, we discuss systems maintenance, the largest systems development expenditure for many organizations. In fact, more programmers today work on maintenance activities than work on new development. Your first job after graduation may very well be as a maintenance programmer/analyst. This disproportionate distribution of maintenance programmers is interesting because software does not wear out in a physical manner as do buildings and machines.
There is no single reason why software is maintained; however, most reasons relate to a desire to evolve system functionality in order to overcome internal processing errors or to better support changing business needs. Thus, maintenance is a fact of life for most systems. This means that maintenance can begin soon after the system is installed. As with the initial design of a system, maintenance activities are not limited only to software changes, but include changes to hardware and business procedures. A question many people have about maintenance relates to how long organizations should maintain a system. Five years? Ten years? Longer? There is no simple answer to this question, but it is most often an issue of economics. In other words, at what point does it make financial sense to discontinue evolving an older system and build or purchase a new one? The focus of a great deal of upper IS management attention is devoted to assessing the trade-offs between maintenance and new development.
In this unit, we will provide you with a better understanding of the maintenance process and describe the types of issues that must be considered when maintaining systems. In this chapter, we also briefly describe the systems maintenance process and the deliverables and outcomes from this process. This is followed by a detailed discussion contrasting the types of maintenance and an overview of critical management issues.”
Valacich, J. S., & George, J. F. (2017). Modern systems analysis and design (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
- Read: chapter 14 in Modern Systems Analysis & Design
- Explain and contrast four types of maintenance.
- Describe several factors that influence the cost of maintaining an information system and apply these factors to the design of maintainable systems.
- Describe maintenance management issues, including alternative organizational structures, quality measurement, processes for handling change requests, and configuration management.
- Maintaining Information Systems
- Conducting Systems Maintenance