Software has a history of being both loved and hated by users. There’s always at least one way that a program doesn’t meet a person’s needs, or doesn’t measure up to expectations.
Still, people have little choice but to use the best of what’s available. Twenty years ago, software options were far more sparse, but so were our needs. The Internet was only beginning to gain a foothold in the average American household, and ecommerce, as we know it today, was not even on the horizon.
If you’re still using software programs like CorelDraw, WordPerfect, QuarkXpress, or Netscape, it’s past time for an upgrade. Even if you’re using software that rolled out more recently, you might want to consider exploring other options to improve your effectiveness.
Here are the three main reasons why upgrading outdated software is crucial for business:
1. Current software serves more than one purpose
Just as one firm comes out with a unique piece of software, another company finds a way to outperform it (or at least the competitor software it was designed to beat).
However, software makers today aren’t just creating programs that outperform the competition. They’re creating software that bundles additional complimentary services that were formerly supplied by other industries. Why would anyone purchase three separate software programs to process payments, manage their email list, and run split testing when they can buy package that handles the job of all three?
That’s what smart software companies are appealing to in order to crush their a-la-carte competition. Here are a few examples:
- WebHelpDesk combines ITIL framework with knowledgebase management, remote desktop support software and IT asset discovery.
Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to create a knowlegeknowledge base, you had to get one custom built or use open-source software that resembled Wikipedia. Remote desktop software required the installation of heavy programs on your local machine, and slow Internet speeds made it difficult to use.
If you wanted IT asset discovery, you had to hire an in-house programmer to do that. Today, you can get all three in one piece of user-friendly software.
- Infusionsoft combines a shopping cart, CRM, and email marketing software in one.
Prior to Infusionsoft and its competitors, management of your email list entailed the use of basic software that was fairly limited in its ability to collect data, if it did that at all. Basic email marketing software at that time was incapable of automation which would have allowed for altering segment tags, changing lists, and sending emails based on the user’s actions.
Instead of only collecting data, Infusionsoft allows you to use that information to initiate and perform actions that would otherwise have to be done manually … such as moving someone to a new list if he or she clicks a specific link, or adding and removing tags when visitors haven’t clicked on any links.
To be honest, Infusionsoft doesn’t have the best shopping cart in the world, but it’s decent enough that most of its customers use it contentedly. They’re in the email marketing and segmenting business, first and foremost, but the company includes other worthwhile features to make your life easier.
- Leadpages combines the functions of creating and publishing sales pages with split testing, and generates popups designed to capture leads.
When you have Leadpages, you don’t need any programming knowledge and the company hosts your pages for you. All you need to do is build your pages with a visual editor, and occasionally copy and paste some code to your website.
2. You don’t have to download software updates
If you’ve been using software for the past few decades, you’re probably familiar with the periodic notifications that inform you it’s time to update your software. Traditionally, this was done by downloading a new file from the software’s server.
If you didn’t download the update, your software didn’t get updated and became more vulnerable to security breaches. Now that most applications run in the cloud, software developers can update something once and be assured it will automatically apply to every user -- in most cases without requiring anyone to download anything.
In the case where a small, lightweight download is required, the software simply won’t work until the update is completed. When you use modern software, you might have to say goodbye to small text, iframes, and your favorite pixelated graphics, but you’ll be saying hello to a smooth, intuitive experience.