Here’s a confession: I’m an early adopter of gadgets. When the iPhone X was launched, I was first in line to get it. But as much as I love new gizmos, I also acknowledge that my early adopter stance can lead to problems.
Companies are up to their elbows with an annual race to churn out new products with bells and whistles, hoping to capture new and repeat customers to make a big splash at earnings calls. The result is often so-called “innovations” that are riddled with bugs.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this problem is so egregious that Apple’s iOS 11 (released in fall 2017) has had 14 software updates to fix a total of 67 software issues. This represents a 46 percent increase from the 46 bugs in the same period a year ago. The bugs are so persistent that one even appeared in Apple’s own commercial!
Nothing like experiencing a meltdown
I recently touched on the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, which underscored why businesses need to control their own fate. When Microsoft applied an update to the Meltdown processor patch, Azure customers reported problems with their virtual machines, which meant they couldn’t operationalize. Customers took to Twitter to complain that they were experiencing downtime of 8 hours or more. There was simply nothing the users could do.
Businesses can’t afford bug-ridden tech
In our business, critical patches, firmware, and software updates are always hot on the heels of new equipment. Many of our customers seek out older or pre-owned equipment – not just because of cost, but because of stability. Our pre-owned hardware has a failure rate of less than 1%. It may seem counterintuitive, but the fact that they have proven to be working units actually guarantees better stability and function than waiting on problems to be discovered in new tech.
As software and hardware products get more complex to address the encapsulating digital economic landscape, so does their accumulated technical debt. It’s become a fact of life that software updates create as many issues as they solve. That’s why I’m an ardent supporter of careful consideration when presented with upgrades and updates.
In this modern world where we demand more of this and more of that, “update this app” is king. We’re redefining the definition of “finished” solutions. Are they really finished? Are we all OK with not-quite-finished solutions and constant software patches?
It’s one thing to buy buggy tech that resides in your pocket. It’s quite another to buy a bunch of buggy tech for your organization. That’s why I’m a big advocate of the tried-and-true; using technology only if it’s been battle-tested should be a fundamental aspect of your enterprise IT strategy. Otherwise, we’re all just kids in the playground showing each other our latest toys … only to report that they’re easily broken.