Maximising the value of your IT investments
The software you use to run your firm – operating systems, office tools and applications - are being updated all the time. And, if anything, the frequency is increasing. For example, Microsoft has launched three new versions of its operating system in the last two years. So should you keep up with these new releases? After all, whichever way you look at it, there is a certain amount of effort required to make the change. The answer is a resounding yes - and here are the reasons why.
1. Take advantage of new features and functions
Vendors are constantly improving their software with new features and functions. For example, throughout the year we deliver upgrades of Lexis InterAction that include improvements based on input from customers, market feedback and new technology developments. Upgrading allows you to take advantage of these improvements to enhance how you work and strengthen your relationships with customers, as well as increase efficiency, productivity and ease of use.
2. Minimise compatibility risks
No applications run in complete isolation. They are all dependent on other software components – the operating system is the most obvious example. If the versions of these complementary components become unsynchronised, problems can start occurring.
For example, if you upgrade your browser software it may cause problems with applications that utilise it as a user interface. So, before, you upgrade anything, it’s vital to check the compatibility matrices of other systems that use that software. However, the safest way to minimise issues is to maintain everything at the latest release, as vendors will always ensure compatibility with new versions of the software their products depend on.
3. Maintain the highest levels of support
As software releases age, mainstream support for them declines. There will always be some support for older releases but, as time passes, it diminishes more and more. Keeping your software up-to-date ensures you will not only always receive the highest level of support. You will also receive regular service packs, patches and updates that improve your software.
For these three reasons it is important to keep your complete IT environment up-to-date. And, as for the notion that upgrading your software is disruptive, the fact is it needn’t be. By working collaboratively with IT, planning carefully and taking into account compatibility matrices, new features that make users’ lives easier can be delivered smoothly with minimal disturbance.