Everyone knows what happens to an asset that doesn’t get regularly maintained and updated—it eventually fails.

Trucks break down, which results in costly repairs and inconvenient downtime. Roofs wear out and leak. Inventory spoils or becomes obsolete. It’s obvious to the naked eye when these things aren’t taken care of regularly.

So why do so many businesses believe they can neglect updating their software?

For some business owners, it may be a matter of priorities. Some may feel that so long as the software still functions, it’s fine. Others may fear an upgrade, either because of the risk of something going wrong or the need to change established processes. Still others may not understand technology at all, preferring not to deal with it and assuming that once installed, software takes care of itself. Unfortunately that’s not true.

There are three very important reasons you should maintain, monitor, and update your software regularly.

1. Safety and security

The longer a piece of software is out, the more time people have to find vulnerabilities in it. Software companies are constantly patching and correcting issues in their software, and if those patches are neglected, they leave holes that are easily exploited by hackers.

The headlines are full of companies that have unknowingly exposed huge troves of customer data. Others have been hit with damaging ransomware attacks. If you found out one of the windows in your home could be easily removed from the outside, would you ignore it? The same principle applies to software.

2. Speed and efficiency

As software packages mature, the companies developing them figure out ways to make them more efficient and more optimized. This results in speed gains. In this chart of Magento load speeds, you can see a huge difference in both the version of Magento being run and the version of PHP.

The performance benefits speak for themselves. A faster website or application helps you retain customers and make their user experience better. A faster program suite for your employees helps them be more productive. Sure, there are always issues that can arise when you upgrade, but the benefits in the long run outweigh any short-term headaches.

3. Better features

Upgrading or updating software allows you to capitalize on features that are added in newer versions of the program—features that can be hugely helpful to your business. Something like WordPress adding support for Progressive Web Apps can create opportunities you might never have thought of.

Some of the consequences of not regularly updating your software may be minor and seem like only a small annoyance. An extra step to convert a file perhaps, or some tinkering to be done to make a stubborn process work. But some can bring your organization to a halt.

Just like maintaining a vehicle, maintaining and upgrading your software is essential to keeping your enterprise humming along like a well-oiled machine. If you’re having trouble keeping up with it, feel free to reach out to us at 405-285-2500 for a checkup and some help getting things back under control.

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