Deferred Maintenance: An IT Epidemic.

By Posted in - Product Strategy on July 11th, 2016

deferred maintenance digital properties

DC residents understand the phrase “deferred maintenance” (i.e. DC Metro).

Deferred maintenance is the decision to keep postponing repairs by labeling issues “not critical.” But as the fires, flooding, derailments, and delays depicted – the culmination of many uncritical repairs equals a critical situation. Unfortunately, many businesses follow WMATA and choose the path of deferred maintenance for their digital properties.

Why It Occurs?

Why do businesses choose to let their digital properties slowly degrade? Budget and staff restrictions are the primary culprits.

It’s no secret that an organization needs a digital presence to be relevant in today’s world. But organizations don’t see the need for their own IT team when it’s not their primary function. Instead, they end up hiring outside developers to build a website or mobile app.

When the time arrives to repair bugs or defects, organizations discover that their original developers don’t deal with the “menial” tasks and in return organizations find their only alternative to be expensive hourly contractors. The result: deferred maintenance.

 The Effects

While your digital properties won’t actually catch fire, their quality can quickly deteriorate. As you continue to perform your day job and ignore your digital properties, consumers are still using your site/app and they’re experiencing all of the defects that built up over time. Users now associate your brand with every bug, error notice, or annoying quirk of your app or site.

The short list:

  • Decline in customer engagement
  • Decline or lack of conversions
  • Decline in customer satisfaction
  • Decrease in brand equity
  • Increase in digital security risks
  • Decrease in ad revenue
  • Increase in anticipated costs
  • Decline in competitive advantage

How to Fix It:

The answer is simple: continuous maintenance. Don’t defer repairs for months or even years. Take care of issues as they arise and you will see higher user engagement, higher satisfaction rates and lower costs. Easier said than done right? Here are our go-to solutions for two situations: before you build digital properties and once you’ve taken the plunge.

Pre-Project Budgeting for Continuous Maintenance

Budget, budget, budget. Continuous maintenance is similar to building a new house. You can’t spend all your money on the construction and design. You must be able to keep the lights and water on after the house is built. Now that you recognize the need to maintain your properties, budget continuous maintenance into your monthly or quarterly expenses.

Post-Project Budgeting for Continuous Maintenance

So what can your organization do? Your site or app is falling apart, and you still don’t have the budget. Your developers aren’t taking your calls. What’s left?

Apollo Matrix chooses to provide continuous maintenance (and improvements if desired) for a low subscription price. With Digital Property Management (DPM), organizations don’t need to worry about high hourly fees or backlogged issues. Instead, your organization gets the skills of a design and build team, monthly repairs, and one unchanging cost that is easy to budget.

Deferred maintenance is a real issue many organizations face. We don’t all have the capabilities and budgets of Apple. But as more and more individuals turn to digital channels as their preferred method of interacting with a brand, your organization must take care of its digital assets. Learn more about Digital Property Management here.