Fears and Triggers: A Conceptual Study of Vendor-Supplied Maintenance and Maintenance Deferral of Standard Package Software

Christopher Savage, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong, Australia
Karlheinz Kautz, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong, Australia
Rodney Clarke, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong, Australia


Enterprises rely more on Information Systems (IS) and software than ever before. However the issue of maintaining a vendor-supplied IS, in particular standard packaged software, has been poorly represented within academic literature. This paper presents a conceptual study that synthesises the current state of research concerning the deferral or execution of vendor-supplied maintenance by the purchasing organisation. Based on a systematic review process that adopts the purchaser’s viewpoint, a series of fears and triggers emerge and are captured from the literature. Fears are articulated as reasons for the purchasing organisation deferring the installation of vendor-supplied maintenance, whereas triggers are events that upset the equilibrium of the purchasing organisation’s IS or software and require the installation of the vendor-supplied maintenance to proceed. Although prevalent in literature, fears and triggers have not previously been recognised as an area of focus for academic research.