When your small business serves a specific industry, chances are there are also industry-specific software that you need to use. But there can be standard computing services that don’t necessarily “play nice” with specific business applications. Issues from security to compatibility can pop up without warning if you aren’t working with knowledgeable software developers to ensure that routine business software updates and support solutions are running effectively.
We always recommend running software and security upgrades promptly, but this method can backfire if you aren’t taking the time to research and ensure that each upgrade will be compatible with the rest of the systems you use. A non-compatible update might inadvertently cause costly business downtime.
Let’s review some common issues that can come up with software updates in a few specific industries.
Healthcare Software Updates
An article published last year reported that after analyzing more than 1 million IoT (Internet of Things) devices, 83% of medical imaging devices were running on outdated software. A major factor was the end of support for Windows 7 operating systems.
Outdated systems create more vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals, but you also risk taking down your whole system if you try to jump ahead through multiple updates without considering the effect that those will have on your healthcare system.
Business software updates don’t just add new features, they address vulnerabilities and weaknesses. So even if you think your medical software or other standard computer software is running fine without those extra features, you may be missing out on an important patch that can make the difference if a cybercriminal tries to access your system in order to exploit sensitive patient information.
In 2019, the number of stolen medical records increased by 65% which affected more than 40 million Americans. It’s obviously a tricky situation to navigate, because protecting patient data is of the utmost importance.However, you still risk compromising that data by running updates without knowledge needed to ensure that they will process without disabling or otherwise negatively affecting the rest of your software.
When you are in the business of healthcare your primary focus is the wellbeing of your patients, as it should be! When you outsource your network and software security to a team of experts, you can rest assured that they will keep your software updated, your client information secure, and allow your staff to focus on expert patient care.
Business Software Updates
A common issue that small businesses have to deal with is that of deciding whether to run a legacy software update (where you install a new system on top of an old system) or perform a fresh install where you migrate your data and configurations into the new software. Both options have their challenges, especially when you don’t know the risks involved with each.
A legacy upgrade in particular can cause a whole host of problems that can result in extended downtime for small business, downtime that you may not be able to afford! The problems that can come up include corrupted data, scrambled custom configurations, failed integration with the rest of the tech stack, and workflow interruption.
Another risk that comes with small business software updates is that fake malware, scareware, and free scan offers can masquerade as standard upgrades but instead wreak havoc on your software and operating system. This can have a drastic effect on your small business success, as it puts you at risk for losing client information in addition to costly recovery.
While we have often recommended that you prompt your staff to process upgrades in a timely manner, it is still important to have someone that is knowledgeable, can review the overall process, and advise you on how best to proceed in order to keep your small business running while doing so securely.
Tech Software Updates
For any small business operating in the tech industry, there is an increased consumer expectation that your business services and systems will be accessible, secure, and running efficiently. Any downtime in service will result in negative customer interactions and will eventually affect your bottom line.
It can be tempting to assume that you’ve got it covered when it comes to your business software and that you can run any updates needed with negative effects, but even experts can make mistakes.
A major example of this is in 2013 when the International Space Station got its annual software upgrade. Coordinating that in and of itself is a feat of technical engineering, considering that they were beaming a software update 200 miles into the sky. But during that update, a single line of code took down all communications on the International Space Station for nearly three hours!
It’s a drastic case, but if it can happen to NASA it can happen to anyone. And because there is so much variety within the tech industry, it can be hard to be sure whether an upgrade for one system you run will affect another. You need to go through a stringent process network and device inventory, standardization, risk assessment before you process an update or manage a patch. And that process is time-consuming, taking up time that could be used for your core business services.
Outsourcing to a trusted company can take away the headache and free up time while ensuring that your customers continue to get high-quality, secure service. It’s well worth the cost to outsource when you can ensure consistent customer satisfaction.
Outsourcing Business Software Updates
So you know that you probably need to outsource your software upgrades and management, but how do you know what to look for?
Start by looking for a company that is willing to sit down with you and explain issues from a technical perspective. A good consultant won’t be hesitant to take the time to discuss the challenges and solutions that are unique to your service industry. They know that it is time well spent in building trust with you and your small business.
You also need to look for a full-service company that will review primary business applications for security and compatibility, along with additional development applications that are unique to you. They’ll be willing to take the time necessary to research and understand how each piece of software interacts with the rest of the tools in your suite of systems.
Ultimately, you want to work with a company that will work efficiently and save you both time and money while being diligent about avoiding mistakes that could impact your business.
Tech Masters offers all of the above, and more. We also offer a free business assessment where we can review your needs and give value recommendations that will be unique to you. Contact us to schedule a free assessment today!
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