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Three reasons to keep your IT environment up-to-date

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Maximising the value of your IT investments

The software you use to run your firm – operating systems, office tools and applications - are being updated all the time. And, if anything, the frequency is increasing. For example, Microsoft has launched three new versions of its operating system in the last two years. So should you keep up with these new releases? After all, whichever way you look at it, there is a certain amount of effort required to make the change. The answer is a resounding yes - and here are the reasons why.

1. Take advantage of new features and functions

Vendors are constantly improving their software with new features and functions. For example, throughout the year we deliver upgrades of Lexis InterAction that include improvements based on input from customers, market feedback and new technology developments. Upgrading allows you to take advantage of these improvements to enhance how you work and strengthen your relationships with customers, as well as increase efficiency, productivity and ease of use.

2. Minimise compatibility risks

No applications run in complete isolation. They are all dependent on other software components – the operating system is the most obvious example. If the versions of these complementary components become unsynchronised, problems can start occurring.

For example, if you upgrade your browser software it may cause problems with applications that utilise it as a user interface. So, before, you upgrade anything, it’s vital to check the compatibility matrices of other systems that use that software. However, the safest way to minimise issues is to maintain everything at the latest release, as vendors will always ensure compatibility with new versions of the software their products depend on.

3. Maintain the highest levels of support

As software releases age, mainstream support for them declines. There will always be some support for older releases but, as time passes, it diminishes more and more. Keeping your software up-to-date ensures you will not only always receive the highest level of support. You will also receive regular service packs, patches and updates that improve your software.

For these three reasons it is important to keep your complete IT environment up-to-date. And, as for the notion that upgrading your software is disruptive, the fact is it needn’t be. By working collaboratively with IT, planning carefully and taking into account compatibility matrices, new features that make users’ lives easier can be delivered smoothly with minimal disturbance.

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:

Fiona Jackson has spent over 15 years implementing and working with InterAction in professional services firms, including legal and accountancy. In these in-house roles, supported by InterAction, she managed marketing communications, devised and implemented business development strategies as well as trained and mentored fee earners. She worked closely with internal clients to understand their business processes end-to end and guided them in utilising the 'intelligence' gathered via InterAction to help them be successful at customer relationship management.

Fiona was previously a Client Advisor for five years at LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions; and was often described as "an extension to our business" by her clients. She has now returned to the company to drive an InterAction ‘repositioning’ project for a large London law firm. Fiona is also working with other firms to help them align CRM to wider business development strategies. She specialises in strategic and tactical CRM best practice, and as an expert in devising user adoption strategies, her experience in rolling out and repositioning InterAction as a business tool is proving invaluable to clients.

Fiona is mother to two teenagers, who keep her firmly on her toes. Living in Hertfordshire, she loves walking, is often found obsessing over the latest box set and enjoys all that country pubs have to offer. She also has a spectacular Gin collection of her own. Recently, Fiona has discovered a love for cooking – the varying degrees of success hasn’t stopped her from continuing to giving it a go!

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