When should I upgrade my software? What do you do when the notice comes to update?
Some blindly click “OK.” Others ignore update messages for months on end. Some now-wary computer users have horror stories about how their digital lives came to a screeching halt for several days due to glitches associated with a software upgrade.
Whether it’s an update to your smartphone’s operating system or Microsoft’s enticement for a free copy of Windows 10, our world is full of opportunities to upgrade to the latest version of everything. Our instinct may be to immediately upgrade, following the logic: “Of course I want the latest and greatest! Think of all the ‘new and improved’ features I’ll be able to take advantage of!”
But wait just a moment. There are good reasons to exercise a little caution.
Here are six to make you think twice before hitting “OK”:
- You haven’t recently backed up your data, email, contacts, photos, videos, etc., to an external source – doing so enables recovery if the upgrade goes horribly wrong.
- Your hardware doesn’t have the capacity to effectively run the updated software. If you’re running older computers, upgrading to new software may consume more memory and disk space or overly tax the CPU, potentially bringing your machines to a screeching halt and resulting in unplanned hardware purchases.
- The user interface of the new software is so foreign compared to the existing version, productivity is negatively impacted while you learn its idiosyncrasies.
- All bugs aren’t fully ironed out of the new software. Unless your business absolutely requires a particular feature the new software offers, let other users “stub their toe” on corner-case problems. Wait a few months to upgrade.
- You‘ve misplaced the necessary information (software license keys, passwords, etc.), which may be needed during the upgrade process. Locate all required information for the update prior to proceeding.
- Updating existing software might result in being unable to access old files, which for business reasons must be left in their original format. Make sure the new software works with older file versions without needing to convert them.
Before hastily updating software to the latest version, consider the impact on other aspects of your business’s technology and work flow. After performing a complete backup, carefully review the software’s requirements before making the decision to move forward. Determine if you will truly benefit from the upgrade.
If you need a second opinion before undertaking a software update, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 314.394.3001. We’d love to help!