There is no denying that software is all around us. Most people use mobile phones and computers everyday. We watch our favourite shows on our smart TV’s and some cars even rely on software to operate!
The pandemic has steered us towards even more virtual tools for every-day tasks such as communication, working, shopping and socialising.
We are used to it and rely on it but when it comes to software upgrades, we often try to avoid or postpone them. This can be especially true for businesses. The reason is always the same, to mitigate the risk that the new upgrade will not operate as configured resulting in a temporary loss of service.
Managers and IT teams often prefer the easy option and stick to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is in spite of the knowledge that if we don’t upgrade our software – it will eventually become obsolete.
In most cases, the risk of upgrading software is the financial loss from resources having to be applied to mitigate challenges created by the upgrade. This can be balanced by the fact that once software upgrades become routine, the process almost always becomes easier.
In order to stay current with business environment changes, statutory requirements, application improvements and to meet user expectations, staying on upgrade paths is an excellent idea. It is much wiser to start thinking about upgrades, practicing the process and getting into a habit of frequent change. Once an organization is successful at managing continuous change, it can innovate. Innovation is the way for progress, improvement and eventually higher profits.
Having worked with SaaS for over 15 years, I have observed that there is lot of anxiety the first time a software application is upgraded, then less in the next iteration and eventually it becomes quite easy to respond to user’s demand for upgrades. The key is to ensure that upgrade does not hinder the existing functionality and adds something to enhance user experience.
A robust upgrade plan is an opportunity to continuously improve software service. The first step is to start thinking about the risks an upgrade might bring for your team and work through those to ensure you will be ready to mitigate these issues as they arise. The short term impact may be difficult during the first attempt but the long term impact could mean great things for business operations, reputation and overall profits.
As with all things, the first step is the hardest but every journey starts with the first step!