Never-ending Software Updates

Jessica Hammer - October 3, 2008

A new version of Flash. Internet Explorer 8, Google Chrome, and a brand new Adobe Creative Suite! When it is all going to end?

If you’re like most office-bound professionals, you use the internet all day, for a myriad of tasks. Transferring files, viewing websites, and sharing data are part of our daily workflow, and when technologies don’t sync, it can seriously impact performance. I’m sure we’ve all had it happen; you send a file, but the receiving party can’t open it because they have an older version of the same software!
The issue is compounded when you add more complex programs, like Creative Suite Graphics programs, and also when you add multiple functionalities and programs. Having an outdated Java applet and Flash player 6 on an old version of Internet Explorer is paramount to rendering the site yourself with crayons! There’s no way you can view sites correctly.

Unfortunately, since technology updates usually bring improvements and upgrades, all we can do is embrace them and keep on upgrading. Most software will alert you when an upgrade is ready. I must stress how important it is to stay current with these changes. Setting some time every week to keep your computer up to speed will prevent a snowball effect later on. Or worse still, a computer stuck in 2004!

In contrast, many of us routinely use programs that cost hundreds of dollars that often involve a purchasing/invoicing/approval rigmarole to procure and upgrade.   Systems like MS Office, Quick Books, Creative Suite, are updated every few years, and may cost hundreds of dollars to replace. Adobe, for example, has let only 8 months lapse since CS3 and we are now faced with the launch of CS4.

Understandably, many companies and individuals can’t afford to keep up with this breakneck pace. But you should try to stay current, even if it means purchasing every second upgrade, or sticking to an ‘upgrade every 2 years’ policy. If budget and purchasing is a problem, keep management in the loop about expected updates, or add the anticipated cost into your budget early. Most companies announce upgrades a few months before launch, which may give you time to make the necessary calls and gain approvals. Check Adobe[], Microsoft[], Intuit’s[], Press Releases and Blogs periodically to stay informed.

Upgrades are here to stay, and they will doubtlessly keep coming at record speed. Doing your best to add upgrading into your weekly schedule will only benefit you and your workflow in the long run. So go ahead, check for updates!

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