7 Reasons Why It’s Important to Regularly Update Your Software and Systems


September 3, 2022

Whether you’re operating with old hardware and legacy software or the latest devices stocked with your ideal mix of software subscriptions, it’s crucial to act swiftly when you receive update notifications. We’ve all felt the pain of breaking our workflow to allow an update to install itself. And we’re all guilty of hitting that “remind me later” button but then forgetting to launch the update at a more convenient time. However, it’s important to know that if you make this a habit, the consequences can range from mildly annoying to catastrophic.

Ask your IT department or Managed Service Provider, and you’ll likely hear the same response: Never ignore an update notification! But they would say that, wouldn’t they? Is it really necessary to put any time or thought into software updates? The following seven facts will reveal your answer:

1. Updates can save you time and money

For technology providers, bugs and system crashes are a natural part of the digital ecosystem. They do present unique challenges, but these can be overcome with the right patch, update, or hardware upgrade. However, for the businesses using their products, these issues can be a massive drain on resources, disrupting the workday as employees reboot devices and report issues to IT. 

Since we’re an adaptable species, we often get used to IT hiccups in the same way we grow accustomed to a squeaky gate or a lock that needs to be wiggled in just the right way to open. Though this is a marvelous adaptive strategy, it can work against us if we fail to act on patches and updates when they’re made available. 

For example, in September 2022, Cisco released an update to prevent crashes with its Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) software. Businesses that updated to the new NSO software version are now free of the frustrating crashes. Any that haven’t yet updated their software will still be facing entirely preventable system crashes that waste valuable time and money. 

2. You need to know when updates aren’t possible

Sometimes, there just isn’t an update or patch capable of fixing a problem. For this reason, it’s crucial to be in the loop on any news from your software, hardware, and application providers. 

Returning to Cisco for another example, the company revealed in September 2022 that several of its older VPN router models have reached End-of-Life (EoL) status and should be replaced. Cisco will no longer be sending security updates to these routers, so any businesses that fail to upgrade to a newer model will be vulnerable to attack.  

3. Patches can protect you from cyber attacks

It’s not just outdated hardware that can leave your business open to attack. Unpatched software vulnerabilities are a dream come true for cybercriminals who know precisely how to exploit them and gain access to your system. By ignoring an update, you could be leaving a digital door wide open with a “Welcome to Malware” mat outside.

If a bad actor discovers the weakness before you install the update, they may be able to steal information or encrypt files and programs, making them unusable until you respond to their ransom request. Thankfully, the simple act of installing security patches can lock those digital doors, pull away the welcome mat, and protect your network and devices from attack. 

Businesses operating on a remote or hybrid model must be extra vigilant as weaknesses in the network security of a remote employee may be leveraged to gain access to the entire system. To prevent such disasters, it’s crucial to provide comprehensive cybersecurity training to your team. It also helps to work with a reputable managed service provider to ensure your IT infrastructure is as effective, efficient, and protected as it can be. 

4. You’ll often get new features when you update your software

Thankfully, updates aren’t all about avoiding disaster. There are plenty of positives to be gained as well. Indeed, one of the main reasons to go ahead with an update is to take advantage of the extra features you’ll have access to once it’s complete. 

Technology evolves at a startling rate, and updates are your best way to keep up with it. In addition to giving you attractive new capabilities, updates often remove outdated features that only serve to take up space and slow you down. 

Here, we have another recent example, this time from Zoom. The communication platform released a feature-packed update in September 2022, including new keyboard shortcuts, contact centre features, webinar features, and integration options.

5. Updates often improve or create compatibility

Speaking of integration and the rapid evolution of technology, tech companies often deliver updates to ensure their software and apps are compatible with the latest developments. For example, updates may make it easier for your team to communicate and collaborate across different devices and operating systems. 

6. Updates and patches can deliver improved performance

If your software isn’t crashing or acting up, it’s easy to assume it’s fine and the update notification can wait. However, if you keep delaying it, you won’t get as much efficiency from your system as you could. 

Like cars, our devices and software require care and maintenance to perform at their best. Often, the patches that come along with an update aren’t necessarily critical but will improve performance, and every little bit counts. 

7. Get an edge over your competition

While improved performance may only save you and your employees a few minutes a day, this can have a tremendous impact over time. Efficiency aside, it’s an inescapable fact that modern customers, employees, and investors seek out businesses with smooth, easy-to-use, and technologically-advanced systems.

Outdated software and tech can turn people away, leaving you with a reputation for being slow and antiquated. However, if you operate in a digital ecosystem that’s efficient, advanced, reliable, and well-designed, you’ll keep your staff and customers happy, gaining a decisive edge over the competition.

As crucial as software updates are, many business owners just don’t have the time or the desire to dive into the details and ensure every app, program, and system is operating at optimal efficiency. If this sounds familiar and you’re looking to take the effort out of the IT side of your business, Invotec can help. Our experienced IT consultants are always happy to provide information and guidance, so feel free to reach out using the contact form below. 

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