Beacons in the Digital Dark Age: Why upgrades are so important
Vint Cerf is a vice president at Google and is also widely known as one of the “fathers of the Internet.” Unfortunately, dear old dad is worried about his child.
“Old formats of documents may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed. What can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is,” Cerf recently warned at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
That’s why it’s imperative for your business to make sure it’s using the latest versions of important systems. Platforms like enterprise content management (ECM) that integrate systems need to continue to continuously evolve. Otherwise, they fall behind.
And when your systems no longer communicate, the information you need right now looks like this: <ht349q> @ dfa 3oang iu-14tu bgt#024nvra 890g5489.
Importance for users: Gaining access
What if you’re a CIO and your employees suddenly can’t access important customer information? Are customers going to continue to trust your organization? Is the CFO going to remember you saved a little money in the short-term, only to weaken the company in the long-term?
Whether customers are internal or external, in the Information Age, people assume you have instant access to information. If you don’t, you’re already in the Digital Dark Age.
After all, most of those customers have access to everything they need right on their phones.
Importance for vendors: Staying current with new technology
That’s why it’s so important to choose a vendor that enhances its product on a regular basis. The world of business is increasingly electronic, so systems need to be able to communicate. If they can’t, you’re going to lose customers and fall behind the competition.
“Our life, our memories, our most cherished family photographs increasingly exist as bits of information – on our hard drives or in ‘the cloud.’ But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution,” said Cerf.
It’s a warning call to keep the things that are important to you current with technology, or they’ll slip away into darkness. Forever.
Not many of us turn to our fathers for advice on technology, but this is one of those times. And the father we’re turning to happens to know what he’s talking about. So let’s heed his advice, and make sure we store our organization’s memories in a secure place that continuously adapts to the world around it.
After all, information is our beacon in the dark.