AJS Updating Uncomplicated

Via a web based system, of course

Admittedly, we sound like we are contradicting ourselves. 

Last week, we discussed how updating computer software is a hassle. Something we avoid, almost at all costs – it is so inconvenient. But also (undoubtedly) necessary. 

We discussed the pros and cons of updating and seemingly complained about the effort involved.  Going further to add that – 

“because many business applications have now moved to “the cloud,” future software updates and upgrades may be relatively seamless”

And it is at this very sentence where we would like to start off this week’s article. Because yes – updating and upgrading is a hassle (usually) but it is also necessary to ensure the proper functioning of your operating systems. I believe we made that point clear. Last week.

But what we failed to mention is that updating your software can be simple. A point we hope to drive home this week… 

And it all starts with the concept of Cloud Computing (a web based system).

Cloud Computing

Not a new concept. Cloud computing has been around for approximately two decades. We even discussed the concept of Cloud Hosting – managed or traditional? in July 2020. 

But what is it. Really?

Well, I previously said that when I think of the “Cloud” I imagine fluffy cotton balls in the sky, encouraging whimsical dreams of bright sunny days and mystical shapes in the sky. Naïve and yet despite my research into the topic, I still find this to be the first image that comes to mind. I guess it boils down to the intangibility of what Cloud computing actually is. Because we cannot see it. And yet it is very much there. And working.

Cloud computing in a nutshell

Quite simply, Cloud computing relates to the delivery of a wide range of computing services over the web, operating on a similar principle as web-based email clients. By allowing users to access all of the features and files of the system without having to keep the bulk of that system on their own computers – developing a type of “infrastructure” which includes shared processing power, software and other resources. 

Traditionally (as in prior to Cloud computing), people used to run downloaded software programs on their computer’s memory using the computer’s own processing power. However, Cloud computing has done away with this and enabled people to access not only software services but also a range of other computing services such as servers, data storage, analytics, networking and software updates over the internet, requiring only an internet browser and a device with an internet connection. 

Enabling a work from anywhere environment.

But what does this have to do with updating?

Well, with Cloud computing being adopted into the mainstream at an expedited rate (because of the wide range of benefits that it offers), companies ranging from IT companies to e-commerce companies, to government organisations and institutions to law firms are now offering all their services through the cloud. Suffice it to say that these institutions, now technologically savvy to have embraced and adopted the cloud and all its wonderful offerings in the first place, know that time is money. This is a well-accepted norm. And having said that, they do not have the time for the “down time” often associated with the traditional way of updating or upgrading operating systems (which is necessary) – getting the IT department to do an organisation wide update or upgrade, often necessitating systems being offline for “who knows how long”. That won’t do anymore. 

These companies need to be up and running. All the time. And this is where the hassle of updating comes in. There’s no time for it (despite its importance). Traditionally speaking

But this is also where the magic of Cloud computing steps in…

How come?

Easily explained – Cloud-based applications automatically refresh and update themselves, without the need to request an IT department to perform a manual organisation wide update. This inevitably saves valuable IT staff time and money spent on outside IT consultation. It also eliminates time spent offline whilst updates are completed. 

In addition, Cloud providers usually provide a cloud service model known as Software as a Service (SaaS). One of the benefits of this service model is that it ensures that software vendors take care of regular software and security updates on behalf of the users. You never again have to worry about your software falling behind your competitors, thereby always maintaining your competitive edge. It’s automatically done for you. 

What’s even better is that in most cases, Cloud-Based SaaS (Software as a Service) updates without your ever waiting or watching for it to do so. Developers roll out new versions of software regularly, and very little if anything ever needs to change on the user’s end in order to use the new and hopefully improved software. It is all handled for you – seamlessly, quietly and without interference. Just somewhere in the background. In the ether. Ensuring you always remain on top of your work and on top of your operating system. 

It comes down to this – updating operating systems through web-based systems are done automatically, without any hassle or downtime making the process of updating systems (relatively) simple and easy. Enabling companies to forget about infrastructure management and instead focus their energies and competencies on their core business operations

No need to click away reminders anymore…. 

But why do we say (relatively)?

According to a research paper titled Cloud Software Upgrades: Challenges and Opportunities, they set out the following – 

“The advent of cloud computing emphasizes the importance of service availability; in fact, for an increasing number of mission-critical applications, availability becomes subject to contractual obligations. We present evidence that the infrastructure that underlies, and the applications that rely upon, cloud computing undergo a fast-paced evolution, which mandates the introduction of online upgrade techniques to avoid service interruptions”.

What they mean to say is this – with the need for ongoing service delivery, there needs to be a limited disruption to business whilst also allowing for the maintaining of updated versions of software systems. But the underlying systems which enable the cloud to update automatically must be maintained and upgraded continually to avoid any communication errors that may occur between computer, software and cloud. 

All going back to the concept of interoperability

Therefore – (relatively) simple. 

Seemingly with web based systems, there is very little room left for excuses on why you haven’t updated your operating system and software yet. 

Come on, you know it’s important to the health of your business! 

And all that’s left now is a reliable provider….

Speak to us at AJS about our managed Cloud Hosting System, services and Web based legal applications – we not only do daily, weekly and yearly backups but you also do not have to worry about costly updates to your software. We take care of all of that for you! 

Simple.

This week’s point – driven home. 

Written by Alicia Koch on behalf of AJS

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