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Often, when it comes to updating our software platforms, we procrastinate. You probably know what you are paying for, and your employees feel more secure with an older version. However, when the support expires, your business is vulnerable.

Imagine you just bought the car of your dreams. Would you leave it in the car park without locking the doors?

It is not a hard question to answer. By comparison, when it comes to ‘locking the engine’ of your business, the answer should be equally clear-cut. After all, the systems that keep your business running are at least as valuable as your more tangible assets. But, even though 96% of all obsolete software has security issues*, it’s still far from everyone who makes sure they update in time.

Here are 3 dangers of using obsolete software

  1. Lack of security: It should come as no surprise that security is top of the list. Obsolete systems leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks, security flaws and other exploitation of weaknesses in your systems.
  2. Reduced competitiveness: If your software is obsolete and support has expired, it can also harm your ability to accommodate the changing needs of your customers. Without the latest version, you will miss out on new features that can make you more competitive.
  3. Unpredictable costs: With dated systems, you do not just run the risk of incurring extra costs when something goes wrong. If your staff work with inefficient software, this can make their work complicated. This also ends up costing you more money.

In other words, there are plenty of reasons to keep your platform updated. So, how do you avoid missing out on important updates?

Evergreen updates make your organisation more efficient

You are probably already used to continuously improving the processes in your organisation. Try and regard the work of keeping up with software updates in the same way - as a gradual optimisation of your business.

This approach is also known as Evergreen IT**, which PWC invented in 2009. Evergreen IT can be defined as “standardised resources distributed across the company, which can be scaled for multiple users, and which are flexible enough to cope with changing needs without disturbing the entire technological foundation every time.”

Microsoft went on to revise this definition with a simpler explanation: “running services consisting of components that are always up to date”. Software providers like Microsoft work with the same type of continuous enhancements as your business. They are also referred to as ‘Kaizen’ processes. They are constantly working to make their platforms more efficient and to accommodate the changing needs of end users.

Download our e-book on Evergreen ERP and be prepared for the continous updates.

No way around Evergreen updates for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Upgrades can be an expensive affair. That is why it has always been top of the agenda for those responsible for the business applications to handle the process efficiently and to minimise business risks. But you can actually avoid expensive, complicated upgrades, because, when it comes to Microsoft Dynamics 365, things aren’t quite what they used to be.

The application is constantly evolving. Eight times a year, Microsoft deploys updates, which fix bugs, strengthen security, and expand core functionality, so that your company is always in the best position to evolve. The updates are automatically deployed to your business system eight times a year. Only the biggest – in April and October – are mandatory to implement.

This is mainly good news. It will solve many of the aforementioned challenges of security, costs and competitiveness at once. Previous problems of continuously keeping your business software up to date simply disappear.

Not the same as Office 365

Maybe you are already familiar with Microsoft’s Evergreen updates from Office 365. Even though both are Microsoft products, there will still be several differences when you switch to Evergreen in Dynamics. You need to be absolutely sure that, after the agreed update date, your system — which has potentially been customised — will also work as expected.

Are you unsure on how to handle the process? Download our Evergreen ERP guide now.

Get your copy

 

* https://www.infopoint-security.de/medien/cenzic-vulnerability-report-2014.pdf
** https://www.pwc.com.au/consulting/assets/publications/ten-minutes-jul10.pdf
*** https://cloudhouse.com/resources/evergreen-it

 

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A few years ago, when Microsoft launched its ‘Evergreen’ approach, they were really taking on board the version lag that has plagued companies for many years. It allowed Dynamics 365 to update monthly, so the solutions, including all new functionalities, are automatically kept up to date.
For some time, there has been talk that cloud-based business systems are the way forward. COVID-19 seriously put the claim to the test when society went into lockdown.
ERP is the company’s central nervous system and crucial for the efficiency of processes and your options for developing your business. But these are also complex solutions, and many companies have been apprehensive about tinkering with them too often. Mainly because adjusting the ERP solution was so time consuming and expensive that six, seven or eight years often passed between major updates.
Trust is good, but testing is better...This old adage is no less apt with Microsoft’s ‘Evergreen’ initiative, which now releases updates eight times a year for Dynamics 365. Viewed as a whole, Evergreen is a positive innovation that ensures companies constant access to new, updated functionality, reduces the need for special developments and prevents a company from falling far behind in a year-long update cycle.
Not everything was better in the old days. This is particularly true of software. Today’s solutions are generally of far higher quality than their predecessors, and a combination of improved methodologies and better development tools definitely plays a role.
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