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integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

December 2014

Can you neglect software?

December 16th, 2014

Neglect key on keyboardSometimes it’s easy to see assets being neglected. The trucks parked out back that are rusting and won’t start. The coffee machine that seems to be broken more often than it works. The printers sitting without use for months. But it’s harder to see assets like software being neglected. Software is sometimes viewed as the intangible black hole.

Let’s look at an oil and gas company. It’s easy to see what creates revenue for them - a physical pipe that carries material: oil. We can touch and see the pipe and we can easily see when it’s broken or not working. When pipes malfunction they lose revenue, which is why it’s important to maintain them.

The same goes for software, which is often neglected because you can’t see it. You need to view your software like a business; you can’t leave for a year and expect to come back to it. Similarly, you can’t neglect software for a year and expect it to work when you need it. You also need to combat the steady rise of data hackers with security updates.

First of all, don’t feel bad. It’s easy to neglect your software. It’s much easier to see the neglect on physical items like trucks, printers, and coffee machines, than it is on non-physical items like software. That’s why many organizations suffer from neglected software. However, it’s just as important to take care of the neglect before it becomes a problem.

Some IT professionals will not know how to maintain the software after it is installed due to their lack of programming and database skills. That is understandable. IT professionals are like doctors; they can’t specialize in everything.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s just a system that isn’t used very often and no one really notices its decline until it’s too late.

So what are the consequences? A small annoyance? Hours of downtime for the company? Data theft?

Software can be neglected and it can be devastating for a business. It can lead to downtime, lost sales, revenue and more. What makes it so scary is that it’s not easily seen. Which means is can sneak up on you and you could be too far down the hole before you even know you’re in there.

If your system is due for a check-up, give us a call at 405-285-2500.

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Horrible, slow software

December 2nd, 2014

Mad at softwareIt’s a common scenario - a particular piece of software isn’t working correctly and you have to make a decision. Should you defer the investment and take on the pain of the software not working? Or should you move on? It’s a tough choice but it’s one that all managers will have to make at some point.

“This software is horrible! It never works and when it does it’s slow!”

“Rob, we’re having trouble with that software again!”

“The executive team wants you to look into replacement solutions for that software.”

“That company said their latest release was going to fix our issues but I’m still having problems!”

Do any of those sound like conversations you’ve had with users, co-workers, management and executives?

There are two schools of thought on this. Some companies and people like to buy software and use it until it’s past its usefulness or the company out grows it. Other companies like to switch around software as much as they can. It’s like comparing someone who buys a car and drives it until it dies to someone who leases a new car every 2 years. Neither one is wrong, each person is just doing what they prefer and what they think works for them.

So let’s talk about these two scenarios. One person (the leaser) always has a nice new car with the latest features. However, he’s paying a premium for it. The other person has a paid off car. Yes it might not have the newest bells and whistles and he might need to have the transmission rebuilt, but in the long run, the cost to him is less. Additionally, he can always add some new features by installing aftermarket add-ons to his vehicle.

This is how it goes when you’re deciding what to do with software – should you be the leaser access to better features and new systems which ultimately cost more over the long run? Or, should you be the guy who buys a car and sticks with it, paying for maintenance and larger costs as they come to keep things running.

It’s a tough decision to make and you need to make it often. Just think about all the software you have running - from AP to AR to HR to email to internet and even the SAAS systems - they all need to have decisions made.

Luckily we’re here to help. Please contact LSG at 405-285-2500 to help in your decision making.

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