You’ve been at your company for 10 years. It’s time (past time) to update the workstations for you and your employees. You’ve picked out what you’d like and you check in with your in-house IT guy to see if the systems you rely on will work with your new computers.
“Hey Joe, when did we get our accounting system?”
“Oh, I think 10 years ago or so.”
“Is that a problem?”
“Nah, it’s fine. We’ll just keep updating it. Not to worry.”
“Will those work with the new computers?”
There’s an uncomfortably long pause.
“Ummm…let me check.”
Joe hangs up. Two hours later he gets back to you. No, the system won’t work on new workstations. But he does have a lead on eBay for some replacement parts for the old computers that you have that will run the older accounting system. Did you want him to go ahead and put in a bid?
If you have out-of-date applications and systems, you may not be able to upgrade. Your “new” computers will have to come off of eBay. It’s definitely risky, and it’s definitely going to break.
There’s always a learning curve to new applications, and it can be easier to want to stick with what’s currently working. But taking time to learn a new application is easier than taking time off after your entire system has crashed thanks to out-of-date software.
Think through what systems and applications you have. Are they up-to-date? Just because it has worked OK for you in the past doesn’t mean it will always continue to do so.
Software actually decays; it just doesn’t work as well over time. That’s just how things work currently. You can’t expect to get the same results 10 years after you installed the software, and you can’t expect updated hardware to support all of your legacy software.
If you keep your systems and applications up-to-date, it will be easier to keep your business running and easier to upgrade your hardware and know that everything will work the way that you want it to.