How to Budget for Custom App Maintenance

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Now that you’re armed with an overview of the types of custom app maintenance, it’s time to consider how to budget for the somewhat murky mix of known and unknowns that make up custom application maintenance. Our recommendation for support budgeting comes down to three factors: scale, complexity, and investment.

The scale of an application refers to the number of different functions and features an application has. It’s typically reflected directly in the initial development budget. Application complexity is a function of the intricacy of the features developed and their susceptibility to reactive maintainence. Integration with an accounting application is an example of a complex feature. Investment is the budgeted amount for proactive maintenance to improve the system beyond the initial scope.

Here are three typical support scenarios showing the scales that we use when making budget recommendations:

Scale Complexity Investment Budget
$8,000 Low - 5% Standard - 25% $2,400
$12,000 High – 15% Low – 10% $3,000
$35,000 Medium – 10% High – 35% $15,750


Beyond budgetary advice and technical expertise, MainSpring also offers our clients the option to enroll in a support program with a scheduled maintenance check-in to ensure that issues are addressed and goals are met. Based upon our knowledge of your business and your custom application, we create an annual support plan with a schedule that fits your needs. Coupling this with a discounted support block of the appropriate size ensures your maintenance needs are being met in a budget-friendly way.

Working with your development team consistently is the key to putting new ideas into action and making sure your custom application will continue providing return on investment (ROI) for years to come.