Should You Upgrade to the Newest Operating System?
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, May 09 6:00
The pop-ups tell you it s time to upgrade your operating system. If you don t complete the upgrade, you ll continue to see those pop-ups in the days and weeks that follow. If you search for information on the new operating system, you ll likely find it comes with enhanced features and security, possibly even including apps you ll find useful in your day-to-day activities. But should you upgrade?
In a business setting, the decision is even more important. While you should always keep up with the latest security patches, full operating system upgrades can cause problems. The decision not to upgrade can hold your business back, however, keeping you from accessing the features your competitors already use to be more productive and provide better service. Before you make the decision to upgrade, here are a few pros and cons.
Upgrading: The Pros
Whether you re running Macs, PCs, or a combination of both in your organization, upgrading an operating system is always an option unless equipment is outdated. Your mobile devices often ask for O/S upgrades, as well. In each of these cases, the new operating system often has fixes included that help the equipment operate more efficiently. These may include bug fixes that weren t upgraded with regular updates. Even if a device currently operates without a glitch, it may not be functioning at peak, which could result in productivity slowdowns.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to upgrading your equipment to the latest O/S is that you ll enjoy new features. Over time, the basic features of an operating system are improved and by upgrading, your users will enjoy those new and improved applications free of charge. You ll also find that software providers eventually end support for older operating systems, leaving you to either purchase new devices or upgrade.
Upgrading: The Cons
Early adopters like to be the first to try out a new operating system. They like to feel they re on the cutting edge. In a business environment, the early adopters should be in the IT department, with some employees acting as beta testers before introducing the other devices to the new operating system. It s important to test every application used by employees in the organization to make sure there are no compatibility issues. If you run any specialized applications that have been in use for years, consider upgrading one employee first and having that person test for compatibility before introducing it to the rest of the team.
Even when compatibility isn t an issue, the early days of a new operating system can be tricky. Often there are numerous bugs, even with software companies thoroughly testing their software before going public with it. These bugs are often discovered by those early adopters, who report them and wait for them to be worked out by developers. By waiting a few months, you can ensure issues have been repaired. Even after waiting, though, your IT team should test the new operating system before deploying those upgrades enterprise-wide.
A new operating system can help your devices work more efficiently. For IT teams, though, it s important to ensure bugs and incompatibilities are worked out before upgrading every employee s PC or mobile device. By testing the O/S through the IT team, you can avoid the major problems that come when you upgrade all of your users too early.