Investing in upgrades is a business necessity

Keeping your old software is a false economy says Equity’s John Crozier.

It can sometimes feel as though software companies are attempting to take you for a ride by constantly issuing new versions and expecting you to pay for them.

For the budget-conscious small business there is a strong temptation to stick with the status quo, especially if there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Indeed, many small businesses and nearly half of all local authorities.

According to a report from IT magazine Computer Weekly, are holding back from upgrading their systems, probably because they are worried about the potential cost and disruption.

But software upgrades are not just about being up to date or having the ‘latest’ tech, says Equity’s Operations Director John Crozier.

They are a vital part of keeping your systems secure from cybercrime.

‘The most up-to-date software is fully supported by its manufacturer, who will regularly issue updates or “patches” to improve functionality or repair vulnerabilities,’ he explains. ‘But out-of-date software is left alone, which allows cyber criminals the time and space to identify and exploit weaknesses.’

If you are still running software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer, John advises that you upgrade as soon as possible, pointing out that a major ransomware attack or data breach could work out a lot more expensive and cause a lot more trouble.

‘Reduce, re-use, recycle is a great mantra for almost everything but IT software,’ he says. ‘Planned investment and regular upgrades and updates are essential to keep your business running smoothly and cost-effectively.’

Benefits of Upgrading Your IT Systems Software

The benefits of upgrading your IT systems software is ten-fold, not only to your businesses cyber security system, but also to the operational efficiency of your business.

Software Updates Improve IT Efficiency

Software updates have multiple benefits for IT systems. One of which is improving the efficiency of how your IT operates.

For example, a previous patch might have had a computer bug that was missed during the quality checks phase of development (it can happen) that causes software freezes or a programme to abort unexpectedly.

Additionally, as IT hardware grows older, having a more efficient and easier-to-load software system in place will weigh less on the hardware itself, benefitting the CPU.

This is likely to improve software speed and reduce crashing.

Software Updates Improve IT Security Systems

A key reason software updates are so important to small businesses are the security benefits of each.

Often, software patches are created to continuously combat against cyber security hacks from hackers.

This happens more frequently than you wish to know, and so part of the software upgrades process is to improve the security protocols within the software.

As we know, cyber security hacks have rapidly grown since 2020, so the need to assess your IT security system is imperative.

For businesses auditing their cyber security systems now is the time to ensure upgrades to your software systems are in place.

Cloud-Based Software Systems Can Be Improve Costs

While not quite a software upgrade, moving to a cloud-based API can be classed as a software upgrade that can improve costs to the business as a result of streamlined application delivering only required resources to business IT systems.

Often, cloud-based apps can be bespoke to a businesses requirements and streamlined for cost-efficiencies while providing relevant solutions.

This also reduces the need for RAM space and reliance on the CPU, keeping the hardware’s performance as productive as possible.

Benefits of Upgrading Your IT Systems Hardware

Similarly to IT software, upgrading your IT hardware is equally important.

Everything has a shelf life and IT hardware is not something that can be updated with the latest software patch.

So upgrading your IT hardware every few years can help your businesses operate at a much more efficient level, that will return on the investments made over time.

Additionally, having up-to-date hardware will work better with newer/upgraded software applications.

Upgrading Your IT Hardware Enhances IT Performance

It’s a bit of a no-brainer, of course, but upgrading your IT hardware will naturally increase your IT performance.

Due to the pace at which technology rapidly advances, IT hardware can often become much slower and even redundant if it is not maintained. This can cause costs to the business further down the line.

In order to stay up-to-speed with new software, technology processes and applications, having the relevant hardware to operate these systems is paramount to ensure your IT performance is optimal.

Upgrading Your IT Hardware Enhances IT Security

New IT hardware is protected from the latest threats, using the latest security measures to ensure a baseline of cyber security for your business to work from.

Another interesting point is that IT support for your new hardware upgrades for much longer periods of time than any legacy hardware.

IT Hardware Upgrades Helps Future Proof Your Security

It is likely that IT cyber security on newer hardware is going to be more future proof within the immediate future than your existing hardware.

This helps provide your business with a base of IT security to work from before acquiring an external IT support company to enhance your IT security system.

Downtime Is Reduced with New Hardware

Finally, another consideration to take into account is how new hardware helps to reduce downtime on your IT system longer-term.

This reduces reliability on your older hardware systems and shifts this reliance over to newer systems, which are easier to maintain, ensuring your business can operate consistently over time.

IT Support Company for Businesses

If you are worried about software upgrades or any other aspect of cyber security for your business, contact us to book a free 20-minute telephone assessment.

Equity is an Oxford IT support company specialising in small business IT support, providing IT support and solutions throughout Oxfordshire and the other areas of the UK.

Contact us today to talk to one of our dedicated IT experts and how we can help protect your business against cyber threats.