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What are the risks of having outdated software post COVID-19

Just as plants must be watered and nurtured over their entire lifespan similarly when it is about the software lifecycle, it must be updated at regular intervals to keep it healthy and efficient. Now is as good a time as any to mitigate the risks of outdated software in a post-COVID world eventually.  

Several ways in which software need attention are through updates, patches, bug fixes, and upgrades.  Vulnerabilities to threats are real from the virtual world and if not checked on, can result in major instances of failures.  

Outdated software is a major risk in terms of being susceptible to cyber-attacks, malware and ransomware attacks by hackers anywhere in the world. Hardware incompatibility due to outdated systems could leave an entire system prone to a complete meltdown and avoidable data losses. Any company worth its salt can ill-afford business disruption which might be the dreaded worst-case scenario.   

Some of the risks of having outdated software post-COVID are: – 

  1. Security Risks – Increased threat perception and cyber security risks that include but not limited to phishing attempts, hackers praying on the vulnerabilities of workforces working from home, Identity & Access Management (IDAM), training and customer service are certain aspects where outdated programs could be found wanting. Data security and moving to the cloud (communication mediums, file sharing, etc.) and automation could all take a backseat if software and systems are kept in the “dark”. New product versions would be delayed or completely left out; Chief Information Officers would dwell on extending hardware-centric security applications such as VPNs and firewalls without upgrades to comply with budget constraints. Payments would be approved for features of only the critical applications.  
  1. Costs – Legacy systems that are unable to integrate would result in increased cost not just because of the inability to update the software but also be liable for not being able to adhere to rules and regulations such as Privacy laws & GDPR. Contracts would be renegotiated for the short-term with cost-savings being the primary objective forgetting about the bigger picture. 
  1. Sales & Marketing – as a vertical would suffer because there would be no face-to-face meetings with clients or prospects. The process would be dependent on technology for internal & external meetings. This has given rise to a plethora of options in the virtual world through webinars and meetings through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc. All this would take a backseat if due importance and updates are not provided for software in the long run. 
  1. Vendors – Third-party vendors would suffer in the extended ecosystem for a company as vendors would not get the same level of awareness and sophistication for transactions as an internal source. This is turn would affect the ROI or the bottom-line. 
  1. Logistics & Supply-Chain – would be hit to a great extent because interactions would be a bare minimum between individuals. Whether the movement of goods or a deliverable must be internal or external would be governed by the virtual space which requires attention to detail. Software that is not up to the mark would not be able to facilitate this scenario. 

Business Continuity and the overall health of employees is of paramount importance during a pandemic. This further adds to the adage, “better safe than sorry”. If every industry is moving towards increased levels of security and employee welfare through streamlined software workflows. Companies which don’t follow suit would be left in the lurch.  

A hybrid model of work from home and staff working from office could be possibilities for small-medium enterprises and large corporations for the not-too-distant future as this subject still lacks clarity. However, vendors that can provide free timely upgrades and customer service would be in a commanding position to travel across “the bridge over troubled waters” and that should be the eventual aim to overcome a post COVID world. Think about it. 

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