The Maintenance Stage is the final phase of the SDLC. After software passes the design stage and is implemented, the maintenance phase of the software life cycle begins. The maintenance phase of the software life cycle allows individuals to check the performance of the software after it is launched to see if it is all working correctly.
This stage is very important as it:
- Ensures that the system remains running at peak performance levels
- Solves any software bugs/problems that arise
- Customize the software to users needs as user’s needs may change with time
- Adds increased functionality to the system
The maintenance phase of the SDLC lasts the longest of all the phases. Most software programs remain in use until they become obsolete due to changes in a user’s needs or until the cost of maintaining the software becomes too expensive for the benefits received in return. Also, new software and sytems may be released while older software is still being maintained in the business.
For example Microsoft Office 2003-2007 is still in use in UCC although 2010 is also capable of being used. This may be done through offering software updates.
A software developer may begin the planning phase of the new SDLC before the release of the current version of software becomes available. As computer systems and the needs of users of computer programs continually change, software developers follow a continuos cycle of development.