We came to understand that maintenance, stability, and longevity engineering are specialities in their own rights, and we wanted a team that was empowered and geared to own the maintenance of our customers' web properties.
And so began the story of the Amazee Labs Global Maintenance team.
In the first part of this blog series, we’ll introduce how our team works, cover some background information about maintenance topics and introduce topics for upcoming blogs in this series.
Digital Maintenance Lifecycle
In an ideal world, maintenance thinking is baked into the entire product lifecycle. We think of two distinct phases in our digital maintenance lifecycle: Engineering for Maintenance phase, and Maintenance Engineering.
Engineering for Maintenance aims for the development of an easily maintainable and stable product. We encourage an early-and-often overlap between the development teams and the maintenance engineering teams before and during launch.
Once a digital property enters a maintenance phase our maintenance team takes over the customer relationship as well as the responsibility for the application. This is the start of the Maintenance Engineering phase. This stage includes the continual adaptation and improvement of the application as the underlying business adapts to its competitive landscape. This can include bug fixing, refactoring important parts of the application, software and security updates, user experience improvements and conversion optimization where appropriate.
The three benefits to a systematic approach to digital maintenance
The reliability of a web application requires continuous effort, including regular bug fixes, patches, software updates and penetration tests. A reliable application is one that is secure, stable, and geared for maximum longevity.
Digital Maintenance is critical for the efficient operation of a web application. Reduction of accidental complexity through refactoring, for example, reduces the application to its inherent complexity, prevents an exponential build-up of complexity and enables a fast and steady pace of delivering new versions.
An application geared for efficiency helps us to reduce the time to market for new feature releases and delays the cost of expensive and expansive rebuilds.
Digital maintenance ensures that the application remains competitive among changing trends, design preferences, and frontend technologies.
An ever-fresh application has an explicit approach to UX & Usability through the use of style guides and interaction guides. There is a content strategy that takes acknowledgement of SEO and other analytical approaches to performance management. Finally, an ever-fresh application is one that is performant for all editors, administrators and end users.
Here’s an overview of existing maintenance posts, upcoming blog topics, and an introduction to each of them:
Upcycling your digital web property
A full application rebuild can be a costly exercise. Upcycling is our incremental approach to relaunching existing websites. Check out this blog to learn more about what upcycling is and how it adds longevity to your digital properties.
The importance of planned maintenance cycles and security updates
Understanding and planning around the underlying software’s maintenance, security, and update cadence are extremely important. Amazee Labs works primarily with Drupal and React, both of which have detailed and predictable approaches to security reporting and releases, as well as software version updating. In the article, we’ll take a deeper look into how the Amazee Labs Global Maintenance Team approaches predictable update cadence for our maintenance customers.
Maintenance as a Service
Once a maintenance and upcycling strategy have been devised, the resources and human capacity to fulfil the strategic goals need to be secured.
A Service Level Agreement is a contractual instrument used to guarantee your access to resources and human capacity to secure, maintain, and extend your application. An SLA ensures:
- Guaranteed response times
- Dedicated project managers
- Maintenance schedules tailored to your organisational needs
- Access to automated reporting, monitoring, and remediation systems
An Agile approach to Maintenance
One of the first things the Amazee Labs Global Maintenance team did was to adopt Kanban as an underlying approach to visualising and managing our maintenance workflow. As our team matured, we’ve split our work into an improvement and extension focused system, and a maintenance-focused team.
As far as the future goes, we’re working alongside the engineers in our sister company amazee.io to build out various bespoke approaches to automated software audits and remediations.
As more and more web properties come online every day, the digital maintenance ecosystem continues to innovate and mature. The Amazee Labs Global Maintenance Team is excited to be part of the journey. This blog series will explore each of these topics in more detail, so stay tuned.
What is your team’s experience & challenges when it comes to Digital Maintenance? Do you have an existing project that you would like help maintaining? Get in touch with us today or let us know in the comments on our Social Media channels.