Feeds

Extended software support 'immoral and indefensible'

Gartner analyst outlines alternative plan for software maintenance fees

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Are extended software support fees immoral and indefensible? That’s a question that one Gartner analyst has just, in a roundabout way, answered in the affirmative.

The analyst in question is Rob Addy, a research director in Gartner's Technology & Service Provider Research division whose bio says he specialises in software and hardware support services, plus the provision of desktop support services in an outsourcing context.

Addy recently blogged about the question and didn’t hold back labelling the fees “a hefty fee to ‘encourage’ users to migrate forward onto a ‘supported’ version” and advancing an argument that “… extended support fees are a cynical ploy by the ISVs to extract more cash from their customers.”

But Addy feels it doesn’t have to be this way, either in reality or in users’ perceptions of these fees.

Explaining why, he writes that “Extended support offerings are perceived badly because they are generally badly defined and poorly executed. But they don’t have to be. If provider’s [sic] could show incremental activity and value from extended support then maybe their customers would be less enraged when required to pay an uplift.”

He kindly offers five things he feels could make users less grumpy about extended support fees, namely:

1. Guidance on how to isolate the system from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (as well as security risks from the outside world). Systems that have gone out of formal support cover may need to be placed into a state of stasis if they are to remain stable and deliver value reliably.

2. Provision of low level forensic configuration change auditing capabilities to help enforce tightened change management processes.

3. Operational risk assessment services to help customers evaluate the threats associated with proposed changes and give guidance on the types of control measures that should be put in place.

4. Systems value drift assessments i.e. analysis of how far the capabilities of the installed system have diverged from the business requirements and the associated opportunity costs.

5. Migration readiness services that help customers to prepare for the day when (and if) they decide to upgrade.

With such changes in place, extended support fees might even become a differentiator, he concludes. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.