Dependency on SCAD Software

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This a great question and there are several parts to my answer: 

1. Software Maintenance and Support – How do we do this? 


Our Standard model is that we charge customers 20% of the price we charged to build the application as an annual software maintenance and licensing charge. This covers the maintenance of the application (bug fixes etc) and pays a license fee for the use of our platform, which enables us to maintain and future-proof your application from any changes in the underlying technology. 

Software Support – this is an additional service where we can offer our clients a range of technical support services covering Tier 1, 2 and 3 support incidents on standard business hours through to 24*7 365 days/year support offering. Depending on the level of service, we would provide a tailored quotation. 


2. Software maintenance and Support from SCAD Software – will it be lower cost or more expensive than alternative options? 


We deploy very small teams to build even the most complex of applications, because of the lower volume of code in an application compared with traditional applications, the same applies to supporting an application. 

 To give you an illustration we are currently supporting a major blue-chip enterprise with a mission-critical very complex application that covers multiple business units. If you look at the level of resources, we need to support that application it is the equivalent of 50% of a Full-time equivalent employee doing this work. To support that application (built using traditional programming languages) internally, you would expect to have a team of at least 4 people. 

With the combination of 1 and 2 above, we expect to be better value than the comparative offerings. This would most certainly be the case if you looked at a total cost of ownership over a number of years. With SCAD Software you are future-proofed from changes in technology – you will not need to rewrite your application due to changes in technology. 

Take for example an application that costs 150K Euros to build with SCAD Software. The maintenance and licensing fee would be 30K Euros per year – which represents around 30% of a Full-time employee internally. Your application will be maintained, future-proofed from changes in the underlying technologies and thereby mitigating the need to rewrite your software every few years. 


3. What happens if I want to leave SCAD Software as a supplier? 


Unlike any other option, SCAD Software provides its clients with an exit strategy. We have a chargeable option where if at the end of a contract, you want to do something different, we will redevelop the application into a programming language of your choice. 

The reality is that you have a number of different options: 

  1. Keep using the application (will need to maintain any licenses) but stop all maintenance and support. As the title suggests this enables you to keep running the application it simply will not be maintained or supported. 
  2. Engage SCAD Software to rewrite in a modern language which we will agree. 
  3. ‘End of life’ the application and commission the new team to rewrite the application in a modern language and have a planned transition. 


If you look at the alternatives. If you have bought a: 

Packaged Software Solution – You can stop using the application. You should be able to migrate your data but you will either need to build or license a new application to continue the functionality. 

Build an application in-house – Moving that application from an in-house team to an outsourcer or indeed simply a new Development team in-house, our experience is that they will begin to rewrite that software. Picking up an application (that you assume is well documented – but typically isn’t), reading the code written to another teams standards – in practice the reality is that the new team will rewrite. 

Commissioned another Outsource company – Same as above. 

Choose a specific cloud provider. – Same as above 


4. What happens if SCAD Software goes out of business? 


There are two aspects of this, we suggest you need to look at: 

  1. What happens if the company behind some of the technology in your technical stack goes out of business or makes changes that “break” your solution? 
  2. What happens if SCAD Software goes out of business? 


In answer to point 1: Whatever route you take you end up with a clear risk of some of the underlying technology in your application going end of life, the company becoming insolvent, or they launch an upgrade that isn’t backwards compatible.  

In all cases, whether you use a large company or small, your technology stack will involve multiple components and programming languages that pose a risk. 

Technology components from Open source solutions or even technologies from big companies like Google, can contain changes that ‘break the system’. For example, some real examples: 

  1. AngularJS was developed by Google.  Millions of applications were built on Angular 1. When Google created Angular 2, there was no backward compatibility. There was a big outcry from millions of application developers who had to completely rewrite their applications.  Whilst developers usually aim for backward compatibility – it is never guaranteed.  
  2. Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft Workflow foundation are two more examples of technologies used by many developers that ended up being ‘end of life’ from Microsoft. 
  3. Adobe Flash Player.  Again, used by millions, but they had to rewrite.  


The one difference with SCAD Software is that we reduce this risk by protecting clients against these myriad of technology changes or technologies being canned, by enabling a much quicker and cheaper switching for e.g.  from Angular 1 to Angular 2 or from Angular to Vue or Vue to React or Postgres to SQL server etc… 


Point 2: The way to mitigate this risk is that where necessary, SCAD Software is happy to have a copy of our source code in Escrow should anything happen to us as a company. 

The ideal option for a company is that you agree on a process to end-of-life an application based on both new technologies and new business requirements, then decide the best route of either doing that in-house or externally. 

Ideally, we look to engage clients on a long-term partnership basis where at some level we are as incentivized as our Client’s team to maintain the application in a way that maximizes the business value from that technology. As a result, we are very proud that our average client tenure is over 7 years. 


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