Ever business uses some form of software these days, whether it is simple email and internet or a fully integrated software suite handling everything from the operating system used by computers, email and telephone communications, stock control and accounting. Software is constantly evolving with newer versions being released all the time – but do you need to upgrade every time or not?
The answer lies in what you need your software to do for you and what the latest update was actually for.
If a company is using basic communications software then upgrading each time a new version of software is released is likely to be unnecessary. However, that company does need to be aware of when an update is released and check what that release is for – if it is to fix security issues, then upgrading would be a wise move. If it is simply to add a new feature that the company does not need then they can skip that particular update.
For larger companies with software and hardware systems from multiple developers and vendors, for example, upgrading might be a good idea to ensure that no compatibility issues arise. However, upgrading can cause issues in itself, as an upgrade to one piece of software might inadvertently cause a conflict with another.
In addition to software upgrades, as companies expand they may require new functionality not provided by their current set up. Sourcing and procuring the right applications and software packages to meet new demands is not something to be taken lightly – choosing the wrong package could end up costing a lot of money.
That’s why it is essential that, whether a company is large or small, they receive the right advice and technical support when making decisions on software procurement, installation and upgrades.
Many IT support companies these days include software monitoring and integration as part of their basic IT services and can offer consultancy on new applications and software packages as well.
IT companies can consult with a company to decide what they want to achieve and how software can help them do it. They will then be in a position to review various packages and procure the right one based on that consultation.
Integrating new software or performing upgrades on existing software can be carried out by and outsourced IT company in a professional manner that, while it has a cost, could save a company a lot of money by avoiding bad choices and costly errors.
In fact, IT outsourcing has proven to save companies millions in ongoing IT maintenance, network support and hardware and software procurement and installation. Many of the world’s largest companies, including tech companies, employ external IT support companies to manage their day to day network and communications requirements.
They recognise the value in paying for professional advice and support by weighing up its cost against any potential loss of earnings through downtime, lost data and network crashes.
So next time your company is considering upgrading its software, consider asking an expert – and exploring what other services they offer that could help your business.
Ben Greenwood is writing on behalf of Efuse (http://www.efuse.co.uk), providing IT support services in Manchester, Liverpool and throughout the North West.