The Real Costs of Not Keeping Software Current

Michael Yared
Michael YaredSunday, December 13, 2015
A small narrow pong river with large mountains being surrounded.

Have you ever been in an interview, either as the employer or a candidate, and felt the cringe occur when the developer is told that the software stack the company is running on is years out-of-date? It’s incredibly awkward. Any positive momentum that the conversation had is abruptly halted as the developer is now mentally weighing compensation or job security against dealing with legacy software.

Staying current is a developer’s lifeblood for future success. As new technologies come out and are mastered by more people, the cost to hire a developer with that skill set naturally goes down. The best developers will typically take their knowledge and move on to the next big thing to continue commanding the best rates and improving their skill sets. But not many want to be a maintenance programmer.

Why do upgrades take a back seat?

Many companies will say that it takes time away from feature sprints. Others might consider it difficult to potentially leave behind current customers with old, out of date browsers. But the biggest reason we’ve found is that companies do not appreciate the true cost of not upgrading. Not keeping your software current means:

  1. The company’s ability to hire new developers is hampered
  2. Existing developers begin to look for new opportunities
  3. Features, that may otherwise be simple, take much longer to ship
  4. Technical debt builds at a faster pace.

If this sounds like your company, don’t worry. It’s pretty common.

We can help. Our team will put together a realistic plan to bring your software stack current without losing time for valuable feature sprints. For more information on how our team can integrate with yours, see our our playbook for how we work or contact us to setup a quick phone call.

Remember that the longer you wait, the harder the upgrade will be.

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