ThatJeffSmith

How Old is Your Software?

I am continuously chiding my customers to upgrade their software, particularly the software they bought from Quest.

Why?

Well, for starters it’s in my financial best interest to do so. But, I have no problems sleeping at night because it’s also in their best interest.

Why?

Companies spend a lot of money on software maintenance renewals. Anywhere from 10-25% of the list price every year goes to this. Software companies love that revenue stream. It’s a waste for many end-users though if they aren’t updating their desktop software at least once a year. It’s not just about the money though. Tons of productivity features are put into the software to make your job and your life easier, more bearable, and actually fun.

It’s not uncommon for me to run into Toad users who are running a version from 2004 or earlier. Hard to believe that puts them more than 10 versions of the software out of date.

Why do we do this? Notice I say we, as I am just as guilty as the next guy. I’m loathe to update iTunes because every time I do so I lose a feature or have my Apple TV connectivity go on the fritz. I’m still also running XP on my primary home machine. I am running SP3 though, so it’s not THAT bad. I’m also extremely nervous I go to update my VMWare software. Having this break or not work as expected is a risk I cannot afford.

People like their software a certain way. Upgrading can be a pain in the you-know-what.

However, the longer you go between upgrades, the harder it gets. I was reminded of this at the dentist office. I hate having my teeth cleaned. But the longer I wait, the worse the experience. I think this is what smart people refer to as a negative-feedback-loop?

Major platform updates and new projects are generally the driver that forces folks to update their software. If you are working with SQL 2008 R2 or Oracle 11gR2, you probably don’t want your IDE to have been built in the previous decade. If you are, you’re probably missing out on quite a bit of functionality the server has to offer.

It’s our fault you don’t want to upgrade.
The software companies are killing people with the frequency of updates. I understand that security is paramount, but getting an update reminder every 6 hours from Adobe, MSFT, Apple, etc doesn’t exactly set me up to love updating all of my software even if it’s once or twice a year.

It’s not just the desktop folks either.
I frequently run into folks running versions of an OS or RDBMS that are no longer supported by the vendor. How often do you see SQL 2000 or even 7? I still run into Oracle 8i and 7.3.4 every now and then, and I just shake my head. Of course this is often because ANOTHER vendor hasn’t taken the time to certify their solution against the newer platforms.

So while I chide you for not upgrading your software, you can smirk as I am just as guilty as you. And I feel your pain. Still, you should upgrade!