Software patching involves updating an application or operating system (OS) to address issues that may or may not be noticeable to the user. Patches are typically downloaded from a software brand’s website directly.
For example, developers behind a popular program may receive countless complaints about a bug that causes glitches and affects the quality of the customer experience. The sooner the team behind the scenes can find the root of that bug, fix it, and release the patch, the better.
However, a software patch is not always guaranteed to fix a problem. Developers may need to release multiple patches until an issue is fully resolved.
Generally, software patches are released to address security vulnerabilities, though they may introduce various changes at the same time. But why is it more important than ever today?
Why Software Patching is So Crucial Today
Here are five key reasons why software patching is so important:
Keep Your Security Updated
Companies across Canada frequently face cybersecurity threats: 85% of Canadian organizations were affected by one or more attacks in 2021, an increase of around 7% from the previous year.
For example, more than 60% of Canadian organizations were targeted in ransomware attacks in 2021. Ransomware encrypts crucial files on a targeted system, and companies may be unable to provide the products or services their customers pay for without these files.
They may feel they have no choice but to pay the ransom, which is usually demanded in cryptocurrencies (due to the anonymity and tracing difficulties involved). Canadian organizations pay ransoms of $140,000 on average, though it’s believed that the overall costs resulting from a ransomware attack are in excess of $1 million. Find out how to recover from ransomware attacks.
Installing a patch for any software used by your business is paramount to reducing your vulnerability to cybersecurity threats like ransomware. It may take only minutes to download and install a patch — but it could help to reinforce your security for years to come.
Access the Latest Features and Improvements
Software patching isn’t purely about updating and enhancing security. It can be about unlocking amazing new features and general changes that make a particular application better than ever.
Software patching could improve an application in subtle ways, creating a smoother user experience even if you can’t pinpoint how or why. Some features could empower employees to achieve more in less time, particularly if they can streamline processes. They may provide faster, smoother, more satisfying service that customers love.
Delivering the best service is essential when customers have so many options to choose from today. Keep your software updated to make sure you’re working with the best tools available.
Maintain Productivity and Quality Service
Even the smallest bug can disrupt operations and have a negative impact on productivity. A word processing application that continually freezes and causes unsaved work to disappear, for instance, would waste time and leave employees brimming with rage.
Similarly, your team may work remotely, which makes reliable connectivity and communication tools critical. A bug that prevents your workers from interacting efficiently or accessing task management platforms could be disastrous.
Other bugs could affect the quality of customer experience you provide. A bug might create glitches that leave buyers without the goods they purchase or require them to contact your support team to complain about the same issue over and over. That wouldn’t be great for your reputation in the long run. And it’s easier than ever for disgruntled customers to spread the word thanks to review sites and social media.
Fortunately, software patching can minimize the likelihood of bugs hindering your productivity and customer experience.
Reduce the Risk of Performance-Related Downtime
All businesses, on all scales, want to avoid downtime whenever possible. Otherwise, they may be unable to perform essential operations, generate revenue, and keep customers satisfied. And that can lead to lasting problems.
Any number of issues can cause downtime, including massive data breaches, ransomware, power outages due to extreme weather, and more. Some of these causes can’t be avoided. Others can. But whatever the cause, it’s vital that you get your systems up and running again as soon as possible to mitigate the damage already caused.
Installing software patches when they’re released can help your business enjoy more system uptime, whether they’re better equipped to protect against security breaches or they resolve bugs big enough to disrupt your operations.
Ensure Your Business is Compliant
Compliance is more important than ever today. If your business fails to align with rules and regulations, whether through ignorance or negligence, you could be fined by a regulatory body. Paying the fine would cost you — but so would the potential reputation damage and loss of future customers.
That’s why it’s paramount that your company is always compliant. Software patching can enable you to meet compliance standards and avoid falling foul of regulators. Make sure that software patches are installed across all relevant devices, even those that may only be used occasionally.
How Can You Make Software Patching Easier and More Reliable?
When you run a business, you may have no idea whether or not your employees install software patches when required. You could have an in-house IT technician who handles this and other tasks — but if they’re already inundated with issues to resolve, they could miss a tiny notification about a software patch.
But working with an external team of IT specialists offers you a simpler, more effective, more reliable way to keep all software up to date.
You can focus on running your business to the best of your abilities, reassured that your employees have access to the latest versions of all key software, without worrying about unpatched security or performance issues.
NETWORTH’s team of IT experts offers a wide range of solutions, including managed IT services for clients across the Greater Toronto, Southern Ontario area. We’ll handle your IT strategy, installation of hardware, and software installation.
Your workforce will have the most up-to-date versions of the applications they need, for better security, features, and overall performance.