Are financial software updates a necessary cost?
Every organisation is looking to streamline today and cost cutting has become an ongoing exercise. However, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the need to reduce spend and to make false economies as a result. Financial software updates can seem like an “added extra” to the software itself and may be tempting to jettison where these are charged for. However, there are four very good reasons why paying for a support/update contract is necessary.
Access to increased functionality
One of the reasons updates exist is to improve on what was there before. New features, shortcuts and the opportunity to improve on existing systems and processes are the most appealing elements of updates. While updates aren’t generally earth shattering in terms of the changes they make, they are certainly worth the investment. Increased functionality could enable better integration, new automation and the ability to keep up with a changing technology or compliance environment, for example.
The security issue
Today, security is a big issue for any business investing in software and systems. A decade ago it was an extra that many assumed would simply happen when the software was installed but an increase in the level of threat since that time has made it much more of a priority. In security terms, your software and applications are really only as good as the latest updates. Given the volume and sensitivity of data within financial software, reliable security is crucial.
Updates are necessary to ensure that potential vulnerabilities cannot be exploited simply as a result of a lack of a security update. Some of the biggest security breaches we have seen recently have sought to exploit software vulnerabilities and many of those affected were the organisations not investing in updates regularly enough to ensure these were patched in time.
It’s not just new features that updates deliver but also maintenance of existing functionality. Out of date financial software can cause some significant issues across the enterprise, especially when it comes to integration with other systems, such as payment gateway services. It can also cause degradation to user experience and software performance – for example payroll software requires annual tax table updates and can’t function to full effectiveness if these are out of date.
Getting the support your business needs
Update and support contracts often come together as part of the same package and there are some clear advantages in paying for this kind of back up. Various different levels of support are usually available so you can tailor the contract you have to the type of help that you need in a way that creates a cost that is affordable. Depending on your on-site IT resources, an update and support package could be an essential cost to meet.
Financial software updates are a necessary cost for any business keen to get the most from investment in that software. From heightened security to increased functionality, the updates are essential to ensuring that the financial software you’re using is functioning effectively.