Windows 95 was great in its time. There was Paint and Internet Explorer and 32-bit applications – it was a magical world! Today, if we found someone playing Doom on Windows 95 with a monitor the size of a microwave oven, we might suspect some strange sci-fi plot involving a time vortex or a DeLorean. We might say, “Don’t you think it’s time for an upgrade?”. And if they responded with “Nah, I know how to use this already,” we might consider an intervention.
Comfort and familiarity is no reason to miss out on the technology opportunities of today. Software solution upgrades take planning, effort, and the acceptance of a little risk, but they can be rewarding as well, with the promise of new features and more ways to improve business processes. Here’s a few steps to help you get through your next upgrade unscathed.
1. Make assessments
Talk to your end users and figure out what your needs are, both from an IT standpoint and a business process standpoint. Note what changes will need to be made, who will be involved, and how it will affect your staff, then plan accordingly. From here you can start to build out a timeline.
2. Consider your options
You can upgrade in steps or all at once, but upgrading your software solution incrementally carries much less risk and allows users to learn and adjust more easily. Strategize about what needs to be upgraded first and remember to consider third party integrations as well. Make sure your other software will still be compatible with software solution once it’s updated, or even upgrade them at all together.
3. Practice effective communication
Good communication is key in any organizational change, and in this case, it’s important to keep both your solutions provider and your stakeholders in the loop. Working with your provider will allow them to offer valuable insights into your software and make suggestions based on what they’ve seen work in the past, and you’ll be able to offer information about your business processes to them.
Internally, keeping staff informed of what will happen and why will help to unite employees and create an air of excitement instead of trepidation.
4. Upgrade during a slow time
This is for obvious reasons – in case difficulties arise, it’s better to deal with them when you have more time and your organization’s quality of services will be less affected. It’s also less stressful for employees to adjust when there’s less pressure on them.
Create a testing environment where you can try out your new solution upgrade, risk-free. This allows you to work out any kinks and see firsthand the effects your upgrade will have on your organization without actually affecting your operations.
Upgrading might sound like a hassle, but done correctly, it should go quite smoothly and provide new opportunities to streamline operations. We hope these tips will make the process easier for you! If you’d like information on how DataBank has helped other organizations in the past, view our case study below to see how Seminole County cut their costs by 40 percent.