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To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade? Is That Really the Question?

It’s tempting to reduce software or hardware upgrade decisions to simple purchase choices. Can we afford the sticker price?

Talking with software developer Jorge Rosas in this week’s podcast, there are two problems with this strategy. 1.) There are also indirect costs, such as helping users get up-to-speed and adjusting business processes impacted by the upgrade. These are more difficult to calculate, but need to be considered. 2.) There are also indirect benefits, such as staying connected with support services to help solve problems and mitigate disasters.

More helpful might be to ask whether the upgrade will result in an “arithmetic benefit” or an “exponential benefit.” Arithmetic benefits include such things as: speed increases, feature enhancements, and quality improvements. Exponential benefits involve changes that permit you to eliminate entire business processes, reorganize for slimmer staffing, stop using paper or making certain telephone calls altogether.

As a rule of thumb, I wait for something to provide an exponential benefit before investing in extensive change.

How do you evaluate upgrade decisions?

Here's My Thought...

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