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Paul Korzeniowski's picture
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Paul is a seasoned (basically old) freelance B2B content producer. Through the years, he has written more than 10,000 items (blogs, news stories, white papers, case studies, press releases and...

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  • Nov 23, 2021
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Utilities try to deliver new software releases ASAP, but are they moving too fast? Yes, according to a Gartner Inc. survey. As evidence, 60% of workers said new software had occasionally or frequently frustrated them within the past 24 months. In fact, 56% of employees said new software had made them wish management would bring the old system back. How significant a problem is software upgrades for your firm? What do you recommend to address the issue?

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 23, 2021

Paul, I think software upgrades probably frustrate everyone, at least at the start. Resistance to change is natural - especially, after a customer's workforce has invested time in learning how software works and maximizing their productivity with it. I know I often think, "Why did they change that? Is this supposed to be easier than it was before?!"

Though I've never worked on software for utilities, I have designed many production management systems for industry. If the #1 priority is repairing known bugs with existing versions, clients will be much more accepting of upgrades with added features.

Sometimes options are added to popular software simply to be able to sell upgrades, however. Known as "creeping featurism", it can be a risky proposition. If it clutters the user experience with added or changed menus and buttons it can backfire, tempting customers to try another product. Like any product, there's a balance between not fixing what's not broken, and keeping up with competition.


If security upgrades aren't 100% transparent to the user, they can be a hard sell. On some systems I've been forced to add two-factor authentication, where to log in to a system a user must enter a code that's been emailed to her account. Yes, it's a hassle, but with bots constantly roving the internet searching for vulnerabilities, and ransomware attacks on the rise, its sometimes it's the best solution for production environments.

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Paul Korzeniowski on Nov 24, 2021

Bob,

 

You raised a few good points. The creeping featureism is a problem. Vendors need to differentiate their products in order to market and sell them, but at a certain point, the value of some additions becomes questionable. 

 

Security is a also problem, one exacerbated by the frequent updates. The hackers are working non-stop because it has become such a large, lucrative, and largely hassle free business. Cybersecurityventures expects them to cause $6 trillion in damages this year. The number probably is hyped but a trillion in damages seems quite likely and underscores the problem in securing system nowadays with so many moving parts. 

 

https://cybersecurityventures.com/annual-cybercrime-report-2020/

 

 

 

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