Affinity Consulting Blog

This post first appeared in Affinity Partner Steven J. Best's Legal Tech Blog.

So, here it comes again from your software vendor. A new upgrade. How many times are we supposed to put up with this? But, as annoying as you may find it, and as irked as you may be at the price of the upgrade, upgrading is truly in your firm/company’s best interest.

Simply put, software vendors are always trying in earnest to keep up with three things, the latest patches and releases from Microsoft and Apple to their operating systems, the demands for new features from their users and to keep up with their competitors. It’s a very narrow space in which they live and they work under a tremendous amount of pressure to “keep up”. Upgrading your traditional software, as annoying as it may seem, ensures that your users have the latest and greatest “code” for the software to operate proficiently in untold operating environments (Windows 7, Windows’ 8.1, Apple’s Yosemite, etc.), on a myriad of office networks, with varying degrees of other software installed on said office network which can impact the performance of the software system at hand. I often remind users of high school science experiments where you have constants and variables. The constant, in this equation, is the software, the variable is your computer or network in which it is installed. Upgrading is the best way to ensure that the software will run as you expect it to run….without error, quickly, efficiently and accruately.

Second…new features. Even if you don’t “think” that a new feature will impact your firm or practice, its worth having the option to use the new feature. Most likely, there will be some benefit to you in the future. Now, those of you that may be using software as a service (SaaS…i.e. you “rent” your software from a provider that delivers functionality to you via a browser….like Clio, Rocket Matter or ActionStep)…this is a non issue for you. You ALWAYS get the new version, but you pay to play (and perhaps that will be my next blog topic). If you don’t pay your monthly “rent”, you don’t get your software. But if you use traditional packages, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, PCLaw, Tabs3, Amicus Attorney, Worldox Professional, and the like, don’t hesitate to upgrade. But at the same time, wait about 30-45 days until the “dust’ settles after the upgrade is released for the software company to work out any last minute kinks or bugs.

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