Organizations are using more automation than ever before and running new technology can be exciting, especially when it’s continuously proving its worth. However, as much excitement as these new changes may bring, finding out that these software products also need maintenance can be anticlimactic, especially when it’s too late.

As intimidating as it may sound, the reality is no one can customize new software and expect it to function forever without proper maintenance. Many organizations equate “set it and forget it” with stability. But is that really the best approach to provide ongoing stability and operational efficiency? Like many trends, technology keeps evolving and your perfectly working software today can be the same software that will cause you delays the next day. All it takes is one major decision from Microsoft or Google to change everything. For optimal software performance, there must be regular and planned software upgrades.

Think about it: buying a home is one of the most significant investments most people will make, but it doesn’t stop there. What about mowing the lawn? Taking out the trash? Keeping the inside vacuumed and dusted? There are routine tasks that need to be completed on a regular basis, otherwise, they may lead to bigger maintenance items in the future. Just like a home requires regular maintenance to keep everything functioning properly, your software requires continued support so that everything stays in sync.

Here’s a few reasons to put a regular update schedule in place:

  1. New features and functionality – new software features and improvements increase productivity, improve ease-of use, and ensure that you are maximizing your performance. As you live with the software, you will discover items that need modification or added to the system.
  2. Ensures quality and testing – if you have a change in your environment that is not supported by an older version, you’re forced to scramble and upgrade in order to support new server requirements or other needs without having adequate time for testing.
  3. Avoid delays or unforseen costs – one of the delays when trying to implement changes could be your employees lack of familiarity, because they don’t touch the software often enough.
  4. Get the best possible technical support – being on a regular update schedule can save a great deal of time in resolving issues. Different versions have different patches and fixes that have been applied to them. Different versions have different tools and reporting to assist in troubleshooting. Different versions have different paths to navigate through the software.

While you’re thinking about your current software, consider these important questions: Are you consistently tracking issues and features for the system? How long has it been since you last updated the system? How prepared do you think you are when it comes to software updates and how much time are you willing to spend to go through the process? Lastly, have you budgeted an adequate amount of money to pay for the upgrades?