They might come when you are sleeping, they might come when you’re awake, but software updates are most definitely coming to town. In the glory days of floppy disks and even CDs, software updates usually needed to be installed manually and the user knew well in advance what updates were being made. Generally, the user would receive a disk in the mail or have to pick one up from their local Circuit City—but these days, most of our software is updated automatically (and sometimes even installed automatically) even if we don’t request it.
The cloud offers a ton of benefits. Systems can be easily connected and integrated, data can be shared, and people can be connected. One of the most overlooked benefits, though, is that software bugs can mainly be ironed out by the provider with little or no action from the customer. Cloud software also allows the provider to make small improvements or radical changes, including modifications to the user experience.
Many cloud software providers, large and small, push updates to the users quarterly to keep the platforms running smoothly. Sometimes the changes are small bug fixes that do not impact your processes. Other times, updates are large and have an impact on daily activity. Regardless of the size, automatic updates can be extremely helpful in keeping your system current and functioning properly, but they can also cause issues if you don’t have a plan in place to prepare you for the coming updates. Enter a robust maintenance plan.
If your organization relies on cloud software for critical operations, as many companies now do, then these updates need to be reflected in your training materials. Putting a software maintenance plan in place is critical and can save your organization time, money, and confusion. As often happens, software updates can build upon previous versions, which means that training materials that do not reflect the last several iterations of your software could potentially be obsolete. Understanding the new updates and keeping training materials up to date can be time consuming. As part of your maintenance plan, consider a dedicated support team, internal or outsourced, that can lead the charge on your software training and maintenance initiatives.