Value through quality

Ric Hill By Ric Hill 30-07-2018 3 minute read

Value through quality

At Ghyston we believe you don’t have to choose between quality and value in software - we believe that the best value software is high quality software, and this is why.

User engagement

High quality software makes it easy for users to do what they need to do; it improves their lives. As the provider of that software, this often forms the core of your business benefit - in some cases as direct revenue, in others as productivity gains, employee retention or client retention. If software doesn’t work as a user expects, either due to a bug or due to poor usability, a user’s confidence will be shaken. By contrast, high quality software strongly reinforces brand reputation by being easy to use and bug-free.

Optimising your business

Quality software provides quality data, which in turn gives you valuable insights into your business and how to get the most out of it. Good software will create well structured and meaningful data about your business, and because users are engaged with it the data will be accurate and complete. This data provides the basis for understanding the nuances of your business and improving how it works.

Medium term cost

Quality products are the result of best practice software engineering processes, agile methods, and one of the key tenets of those processes is to catch defects (or bugs) early in the development process. It's well known that the cost of fixing defects increases exponentially as we progress through the software lifecycle, and in particular defects in live are very costly - not only to fix, but also in terms of business impact. Quality products will have very few defects reaching testing, let alone reaching a live environment.

Long term cost

Extending and enhancing high quality software stays economical: adding features years into its life is just as easy as baking them in from the start. By contrast, the cost of adding features to poor quality software grows exponentially over time. This is because the code tends to be disjointed, over-complicated and under-documented, and will often lack a good suite of automated regression tests - factors that not only increase development time but also dramatically increase the risk of unexpected defects when making changes.

Longevity

Due to potential increase in enhancement cost, the lifespan of software can vary enormously. At one end of the spectrum software that has poor usability and is expensive to adapt may need to be replaced in as little as one to two years, but at the other end of the spectrum quality software that is well maintained can live on indefinitely through incremental upgrades (although it may be a bit like Trigger's Broom after a decade or two!).

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