The Importance of Software Support Periods for IT Decision Makers
IT decision makers are responsible to discover the best software solution that works both now and in the long run. Two factors affect that choice: regular, reliable updates and the availability of long-term support.
Regularly updated software means decision-makers can rely on the application to take advantage of new opportunities, regulations, and security needs. New updates mean security patches and extended capabilities in terms of third-party extensions.
The availability of long-term support means a better return on investment and a reduced risk of needing a redesign. Business customers are conservative when it comes to upgrades, they can calculate that a site or application supported for five years versus two is a better value.
The best way to determine that is to consider their own project requirements matched to where the software is in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The open source (OSS) advantage with TYPO3 CMS is that the Roadmap and decision making is transparent. And of course, it’s backed by the long-term support that TYPO3 GmbH offers.
First - determine your software cycle time
Before you consider the solution, you have to think about how long it will take to build the project in question. That affects the decision about which solutions offer the best long-term support.
Software cycle times might vary due to capacity and complexity.
How long will it take to build the website or application from the moment you initiate a project to delivery?
How often do you relaunch it?
How often do you need new features in your software?
Does your web server need updates?
Are the web server updates compatible with the software?
Measured from experience, you can make a rough estimate of how long it would take to get the project completed. It may also be that a more mature product affects how fast you can build. Is your team ready to build on the newer software version?
Now you can compare your software cycle duration to the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and software support time.
Now you might wonder: How can I determine whether the proposed support period is "right"?
“How long is the software officially supported?”
Decision makers consider a software’s lifecycle in their decision-making process. Check the project: How long will this software be reliably supported? Where is this project in its lifecycle?
Take, for example, the case of TYPO3 v8 LTS versus TYPO3 v9 LTS. TYPO3 v8 LTS offers well-established features and extensions. However, TYPO3 v9 LTS, now at the start of its lifecycle, would offer a longer return on investment.
Make support periods a mandatory checklist-item when choosing software
Whenever you evaluate possible software solutions, pay extra attention to how long the official support periods are.
If your digital agency or consultant suggests a software solution for you, ask about support periods. When your IT department evaluates software, ask about support periods. Support periods are vital for your success. They reduce the risk of building a website or application with no support.
And today, using outdated software can even have legal implications for you.
Boost your ROI
When the support for your website software ends, you need to relaunch it. Sometimes you can directly upgrade, but it’s more often the case you need to conduct a complete redesign. Both options indicate significant costs. The longer a running project is stable and supported, the longer it generates a better return on investment (ROI).
Make sure your vendor offers extended support once regular support ends. Most of the time these come a lot cheaper than if you upgrade your CMS or relaunch it all together.
This way you can reduce the impact on your ROI and have your website generate value for a longer period of time. Make sure your solution offers at least 4 years of support, or even more.
Use supported software
TYPO3 CMS has clearly defined update and support cycles. It is backed both by its developer and service provider communities, as well as a commercial entity, TYPO3 GmbH, which backs the CMS with further special services.
Every major TYPO3 version is supported for 3 years and a new major version is released every 18 months. This means that there are always two stable versions being maintained (plus the version next in line); at the time of this writing that’s TYPO3 v8 LTS and TYPO3 v9 LTS.
TYPO3 v6 LTS became officially unsupported by the community in March 2017 and the community support for TYPO3 v7 LTS will wind down at the end of November 2018.
The TYPO3 community provides free software maintenance in that it supports every Long Term Support (LTS) version for three years after release with security and bug fix releases. When the product lifecycle of a major TYPO3 version draws to an end you can purchase Extended Long Term Support (ELTS) from TYPO3 GmbH for up to 3 more years.
TYPO3 GmbH offers Extended Long Term Support (ELTS)
If you’re still running an older TYPO3 version, TYPO3 GmbH offers peace of mind and a longer period of return on your investment through its Extended Long Term Support (ELTS) program. ELTS lets you prolong the lifespan of your web application for up to 36 months in a safe and secure way and is always available for the most recent unsupported LTS versions.
ELTS is currently available for TYPO3 v6 LTS. As of December 1, 2018 it will be available for TYPO3 v7 LTS too.
Unlock and sustain business value by choosing TYPO3 CMS and the option of prolonging your website’s lifespan by opting for TYPO3 GmbH ELTS. Get in touch with us if you want to know more. Or browse the TYPO3 partner finder to get in touch with a qualified TYPO3 partner to make plans for steps forward!
Nice article Mathias