Stitch in time: Why software updates are important

Regularly updating software when running a business on a tight budget may seem like wasteful spending, but could be worth giving up a cushy office space for.

Tech for Sme
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Software upgrades are no longer the privilege of large companies with deep pockets. While some come at a premium, others can be bought at a discounted rate or even absolutely free.
Shutting down pop-up windows can be oddly satisfying, but may not be worth the risks it inadvertently puts computers under. Regularly updating software when running a business on a tight budget may seem like wasteful spending, but in reality it could be well worth it.

Software updates perform a wide assortment of tasks, including fixing security vulnerabilities. In fact, the massive Equifax data breach reportedly could have been prevented if the company had updated its software on time. Although the credit-reporting agency learned its lesson the hard way, others can avoid the same mistake even if it comes at a cost.

Additionally, periodic software updates also adds new features, removes outdated ones and improves compatibility with different devices, thereby making the overall user experience better.


Here are five reasons to be up-to-date on the latest software:
1) Security
One of the primary reasons for installing software updates is to guard a system against security vulnerabilities. Older software is bound to have bugs which hackers can exploit to steal sensitive information.

"Small business owners need to be proactive and minimize risks by not only using the most updated software, but also conducting regular tests and audits to create a more robust and secure workflow," says a top executive at Autodesk-India & SAARC, Arun D'Souza.
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SMEs need to be cognizant of the fact that data security is becoming more and more complex to control and that, outdated software raises the risk of confidential information being leaked out. Although cyber criminals can employ many other ways to attack a system, a pervasive practice is to exploit weaknesses caused from not updating software.

2) Saves time
According to Zoho Corp COO Mani Vembu, updating software from time to time enables SMEs to get access to the latest technology that could make them more productive.

"Business software helps increase productivity such that each employee can do more work within the limited time they have in a day," he says. "The gain in productivity will not be measurable in a day, but over a period of time, the productivity will show definite improvement," he adds.

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3) Enhanced features
SMEs, as an industry segment, are quite sensitive towards investments in technology, but there are practical reasons that can establish the cost-effectiveness of software upgrade.

"These upgrades are designed to help users become more efficient in their daily working life and hence, its costs could be covered even in the short term," says D'Souza. "For instance, software upgrades aim to make the tools and capabilities more user-friendly," he adds.
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A single upgrade may not bring about a noticeable difference, but multiple upgrades with small changes add up to a significant shift over a due course of time, improving functionality and performance.

4) Better synergy
Software that can seamlessly run across devices like phones, tablets and computers has become imperative for any business today. By updating software such that data is synced to all devices, users can easily shift from one to another without facing any challenges when it comes to accessing files etc.

5) Lastly, some are free
Software upgrades are no longer the privilege of large companies with deep pockets. While some come at a premium, others can be bought at a discounted rate or even absolutely free. Most companies give out great deals, subscriptions or free trials at the time of launch.

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