In large organizations, it is very common to create patchwork systems of different software in order to accomplish the company or institution’s goals. As needs changes, often more software is added and incorporated into day-to-day operations. But, as workflows and teams evolve, software and computing systems often do not. While cloud-based computing software often automatically updates, most native software requires regularly monitoring. In addition, sophisticated integrations become less possible over time with emergent technologies that may not support a system that you use.
This piecemeal approach to building out computing systems organically then becomes disastrous if organizations then begin communicating with individuals and other organizations who also may or may not be familiar or up-to-date themselves with their own systems. Here some of the most common problems that arise from using updated software and what you can do about it:
According to a 2019 survey, over 70% of people reported that outdated software impeded their ability to do their work. Of those surveyed, 50% said outdated software and systems had a moderate effect on their work, while 16% said it majorly affected their ability to produce desired outcomes and deliverables.
When people experience software latency or hit bottlenecks with its functionality, their frustrations trickle down throughout the organizations and invariably produce problems when executing highly complex projects, such as abstract collection and management. Astonishing, a Samanage survey found that repetitive tasks caused by outdated systems cost American businesses $1.8 trillion annually.
Increased Costs and Lost Revenue
Believe it or not, choosing not to invest in updating software or computing systems is actually more costly than investing in updated software programs. Why? Because inefficiencies not only slow down workflows, they also breed a lack of confidence in your stakeholders. In fact, a Microsoft survey found 91% of customers choose not to do business with organizations using outdated technologies.
In addition, complex, ad hoc software systems require a dedicated IT team to troubleshoot and maintain the systems organizations have in place. Legacy systems and software (e.g. anything purchased in the early to mid-2000s) combined with disorganized CRMs is a recipe for disaster that requires a team of technology professionals to fix and support. What then happens is that teams start to build workarounds into their deliverable timelines that then require even more support from an IT team.
Lost, Corrupted, and Stolen Data
Perhaps one of the most anxiety-inducing problems with outdated software and systems is the likelihood data will be lost, corrupted, or disorganized on a native server or platform. This can be especially problematic if an organization relies on orphan applications (i.e. applications no longer supported by the developer).
Relying on older systems also is a security risk. This risk can be mitigated if technology teams regularly take inventory of the types of software applications that an organization uses. In fact, security software firm Kaspersky reported that organizations lose 47% more money from data breaches than ones that had up-to-date software.
Given that more and more computing is cloud-based or supports cloud-based integrations, it is imperative to use software that does the same. Emailing Word documents or Excel spreadsheets back-and-forth while relying on email threads that cannot be captured elsewhere creates disorganized, messy workflows that slow down productivity and pave the way for mistakes and missed opportunities.
Data without integrations is also siloed information. According to Stewart Bond, the research director of IDC’s Data Integration and Intelligence Software service, “The more you know about your data, the higher quality data you have, and the better you can integrate that data.” Integrations allow organizations to capture data more precisely and communicate it more efficiently to those who need it.
Limited Functionality with Outdated Software
Finally, it goes without saying that the limited functionality of outdated systems affects all of the aforementioned problems. When software loses its ability to iterate and adapt, it no longer serves the purpose of the organization.
What can be done to remedy this? To start, evaluate all the software your organization uses to collect and organize information–which platforms no longer provide support or have been cut from their developer’s life cycle of products? Next, strongly consider adopting an SaaS, which will provide customizations and real-time support. Collection and management software allows you to hone in on the specific goals and needs of your organization while integrating with any of your organization’s existing software platforms.
In addition, support from the cloud allows all your data to be safely stored and management without the latency of transfers from one application to another. A powerful SaaS ultimately provides the assurance that your organization can operate at peak productivity without the costs and security risks of outdated systems.