The Difference between Support and Maintenance

HeadChannel's comprehensive support and maintenance services ensure the long-term success of your bespoke software, focusing on reliability, security, and alignment with your evolving business needs.

The Difference between Support and Maintenance

When embarking on a new bespoke software development project, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of bringing innovative ideas to life. However, amidst the allure of the “sexier” aspects, it’s crucial not to overlook two essential components: support and maintenance. Both clients and development teams must prioritise these elements from the outset to ensure the long-term success of their software solutions.

Understanding Support and Maintenance

Before diving into a new project, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what “support” and “maintenance” entail in the context of bespoke software development.


Support refers to the ad-hoc, reactive work necessary to keep a software system running smoothly in the face of “breaking bugs.” These are issues that can have immediate, severe consequences, such as preventing users from accessing critical features or causing data loss. Support agreements often include a service-level agreement (SLA) that defines the response time for addressing these critical issues. Once the initial support request is resolved, there may be additional tasks that need to be scheduled into the maintenance work plan.


Maintenance, on the other hand, is the scheduled work required to fix “non-breaking bugs,” introduce new features, and ensure the software remains compatible with evolving technologies and business needs. While these issues may not be as urgent as those addressed through support, they still require attention. Maintenance releases are carefully planned and scheduled in advance to minimise disruption to users and align with the client’s business objectives.

Clients often request a combination of support and maintenance services, which can lead to the terms being used interchangeably. However, it’s important to distinguish between the two to ensure proper allocation of resources and effective project management.

The Pitfalls of Hourly Rates for Ongoing Work

Some software development companies opt to charge an hourly rate for ongoing support and maintenance work. However, this approach can be problematic for several reasons:

  • Scheduling Challenges: Developers often find it frustrating to be pulled away from exciting new projects to work on older ones using outdated technology. This can lead to decreased job satisfaction and increased employee turnover. Additionally, switching between projects can result in significant time loss and reduced productivity.
  • Resource Limitations: Companies may not always account for the hardware and software resources required to perform support and maintenance services effectively. Each project requires its own set of development, testing, staging, and production environments. Attempting to cut costs by relying on a single developer’s workstation for multiple projects can lead to inadequate resources and subpar service quality.

The HeadChannel Solution

At HeadChannel, we understand the importance of providing comprehensive support and maintenance services for our clients’ bespoke software solutions. Our team of experienced developers and project managers work closely with clients to ensure their software remains reliable, secure, and aligned with their evolving business needs.

We offer tailored support and maintenance packages that take into account the unique requirements of each project. By establishing clear SLAs and dedicated resources, we ensure that our clients receive prompt and effective support when they need it most. Our maintenance plans are designed to keep the software up-to-date, introduce new features, and optimise performance, all while minimising disruption to users.

When you partner with HeadChannel for your bespoke software development needs, you can rest assured that your software will receive the ongoing care and attention it deserves. Our commitment to support and maintenance allows you to focus on your core business objectives while we handle the technical intricacies behind the scenes.

Don’t let the excitement of a new bespoke software project overshadow the importance of support and maintenance. By prioritising these essential components from the start and partnering with a reliable development company like HeadChannel, you can ensure the long-term success and stability of your software solution.

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