Savvy Computing
Should You Upgrade Your Software?

June 2003
by Reid Goldsborough

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The buzz these days among many computer insiders is about the coming releases of upgrades to Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
Windows Server 2003, an operating system designed for computer networks, was scheduled to be released in late April. Office 2003, combining word processing, spreadsheet, and other programs, should be out this summer. And although the successor to Windows XP, code-named Longhorn, will likely be released no earlier than a couple of years from now, it’s already being written about in the computer press.
Any time major software like this is upgraded, it again brings to the forefront questions about the desirability of upgrading your own software. When does it make sense to upgrade? What problems can upgrading cause?

Assess the Benefits

To answer the questions, “do a cost-benefit analysis,” recommends Al Cole, President of the Independent Computer Consultants Association (
Among the benefits are new features. Using the software company’s promotional material and software reviews, rank the new features by their importance to you or your organization.
Another benefit is compatibility. If clients, suppliers, and others you work with are using the upgrade, you may need to as well to exchange data seamlessly with them.
A third benefit is receiving continuedsupport. Software companies typically provide technical support and bug fixes for only a limited time. Jerry De…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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