Keeping up with fast-changing business demands is no easy task, especially in the wake of the pandemic and the hyper-acceleration of digital transformation. Seven out of 10 companies say they’ve already got a digital transformation strategy in place or they’re working on one. And over half of CEOs say that digital improvements have increased their profits. As you think about which digital improvements to prioritize, one area to consider is upgrades.
Signs that you need an upgrade are often subtle, making them easy to ignore. But pushing that upgrade to the bottom of the to-do list opens the door to bigger issues, such as lost revenue, hindered growth and security risks.
Spotting the signs that you need an upgrade is the first step and one that helps you recapture lost productivity and shut down potential security risks.
The subtle and not-so-subtle signs you need an upgrade
You might notice the small signs at first: employees using workarounds on programs that lack integrations, slips in productivity or more time-consuming processes. Oftentimes, these issues result in lost opportunities that impede growth. Here are five signs that it’s time to think about an upgrade:
Extended support fees. Running software older than five years often translates to paying for extended support. For example, a company might pay an extra 15% for this support but upgrading eliminates that cost.
Bugs getting in the way of productivity. Software isn’t perfect, which is why developers constantly fix bugs with each new software version. Using older software means you might have bugs with fixes that you’re not using, which impacts productivity. Upgrading solves this issue, and newer versions incorporate user feedback and new features that help get the work done faster.
Lack of integrations. Programs that don’t “talk” to one another create challenges. Employees might create lengthy workarounds that cost you time and money. Upgrading often improves integrations, streamlining tasks and cutting down on the time wasted switching between multiple apps and technologies.
Security threats. As workplaces supported more remote workers during the pandemic, hackers created new and innovative threats to break into systems. A common gateway to entering a system is outdated software. Upgrading helps you shut down some of those potential opportunities.
Plans to move to the cloud. Improved agility, greater productivity and lower costs are just a few of the reasons that businesses migrate to the cloud. But to make this move, you need to be running the most current version of your software. You can prepare for a cloud migration by getting up to date now.
Ready to upgrade? Here are a few tips.
Do at least one of the signs above look familiar? If so, upgrading can help you reach your business goals smoothly. Before getting started, here are a few things to consider:
- Don’t skip creating a test environment. A test environment helps you launch the upgrade with greater confidence. For example, if you’re jumping 10 versions with an upgrade, there might be some modules that aren’t available for the newer version. Figuring out these small challenges ahead of time is critical to a smooth launch.
- Identify the right resources early. With an upgrade, you’ll need the right resources on your team with access to your servers and administrative rights. This helps keep your upgrade running smoothly and everything on track.
- Choose a partner with excellent support. Select a partner that has customized options so you get the exact resources you need to accomplish your goals. Also, ensure they have support available so you can get help when you need it.
Technology is always changing, so it’s never a “set it and forget it” task. Keeping up with technology helps you become more agile, and that’s what’s required when business and customer needs are constantly in motion.
One of the largest concerns about an upgrade is cost. How much will this cost and how can I get budget approval? The good news is that when you work with a solid partner and consider the hidden expenses of not upgrading (like extended-service fees and lost opportunities), you can easily make a case for upgrading, positioning your business for success in the future.