How old is the software your business uses? You might be surprised by how many business owners and managers can’t answer this question. Many still think that’s it’s enough to buy a good piece of software and then continue relying on it for years. They then get confused when they suddenly find there are problems with compatibility or viruses. The biggest problem of all tends to be hidden – failure to upgrade reduces productivity.
Technology in today’s business
Because technology is now deeply integrated into the framework of almost all businesses, keeping it up to date has become an essential part of office maintenance. Just as you wouldn’t try to get by with chairs that were coming apart, or expect to impress visitors with worn out carpets, you shouldn’t expect to get away with neglecting this vital part of your business infrastructure.
Why upgrading software matters
- Efficiency. There is never really a perfect version of any piece of software – it can always be improved upon. Developers are constantly tweaking it to make it run faster and more smoothly. Having the latest version will reduce the number of bugs you have to deal with and save time on numerous small tasks. Individually, these changes might not seem like much, but taken together they can make a big difference to the working day.
- Usability. Just as software is upgraded to make it more efficient, it is adjusted in response to customer feedback to make it easier to use. This makes a big difference with new staff that are still learning the ropes, as they’ll find that much easier with a more intuitive system; however, it can benefit workers at all levels because of the time it saves whenever they have to figure out how to handle unfamiliar tasks.
- Security. If you’ve made a big investment in getting your server room build just right so that your hardware and data will be protected, doesn’t it make sense to take a similar approach with your software? Over time, hackers find all the little loopholes that can allow them to interfere with an application, so if you’re using outdated versions, you’re leaving your data vulnerable to thieves, vandals and corporate spies.
- Compatibility. Even if you feel that you’re getting along fine with older pieces of software, your clients and trading partners may feel differently. Every time there’s a clash between versions it will generate a problem for somebody, and this could put people off working with you – even without you knowing it.
Keeping software up to date may seem like a hassle but in today’s world it’s easy to get updates when new versions of the programs you use are available, and some can even be trusted to update themselves automatically. If you read the tech journals, you can keep abreast of what’s in development, making it easier to budget for paid upgrades. When you factor in what it can save you, it’s easy to see that prompt upgrading is worth the money.