Why you should run on the latest software version (and why not)

New software releases are introduced at an ever-increasing pace. Where it used to take a few years before a new version was released, this is now much more frequent. A new release brings new possibilities. At the same time, adopting a new release also brings challenges and costs. An overview of the pros and cons:

Why you SHOULD run on the latest version of software:

-   Safety at one: In general, new software products are safer and more reliable than older products. And data security is extremely important. You do not want to have your sensitive company information out on the street or that you do not comply with the laws and regulations (GDPR for instance).
-   The best performance: The performance of your system is related to many factors. Think about the hardware you use and the quality of data connections. But the software also plays a role in this. New software products usually function faster and better, are developed with improved technology and are compatible with other modern applications.
-   The latest features: A common reason to upgrade to a new software version is to have new functionalities. Finally the new feature you've been waiting for!
-   Making small steps is easy: By regularly upgrading to a new version, you keep taking small steps as an organization. And that is much easier than doing nothing for years and suddenly taking a giant leap.
-   Get support: Software vendors only support a limited number of software versions. By running on the latest version you prevent yourself having to pay for errors.
-   Preventing customizations: This of course does not apply to your Microsoft Word version, but relates to, for example, the ERP system. By upgrading to the latest version, you may be able to get rid of some customizations as they have become part of the standard solution.

Why you SHOULD NOT run on the latest version of software:

-   Bugs are more likely: With new releases there is a big chance on bugs; small errors in the software. These are only discovered and resolved in the standard after the version is brought to the market.
-   No added value: Do not choose for a new version of the software purely because it’s new. If it does not add value, don’t do it. It often takes more time, effort and money than you think for the organization and every end user to switch to the new software.
-   Too much pressure on the organization: Every new version must be fully tested by the organization. It must be checked whether all processes are still supported. In addition, the work instructions and documentation must be updated to the latest version. This means extra work and this should not be at the expense of the daily jobs.
-   Transferring all your customizations: If your organization uses a lot of customer-specific functionalities (e.g. in your ERP or CRM), this must be transferred to the latest version with every upgrade. This can be very costly and complicated.

René Welmerink is Application Developer at Dysel and turns modern technology into practical and useful applications for customers.