Software and firmware updates are something a lot of organisations overlook or do not do as they are worried that it may conflict with something and cause more problems than they actually fix. Many people use the argument that it is not broke so why fix it or that there just isn’t enough time as devices need to stay up 24/7/365. All these excuses result in machines and devices being updated to a certain level at initial build and then left at this level.
So why it is important keep your software/firmware up to date?
It is important to run periodic updates as they not only fix bugs in the software or firmware, but they also protect against vulnerabilities which could be exploited by hackers, viruses, worms and such.
Furthermore, some hardware devices fall out of warranty/support if their software version has not been updated and the version running is too old. This means that if you ever do have a problem and call the support company for the particular device, you may actually find that they will not be able to help you fix your issue.
Software and firmware patch testing
To mitigate against problems with patches/updates and new firmware, your IT support company should always test new patches against test devices or non-essential devices first, and if all goes well the software can then be rolled out companywide using software such as windows update service etc. If you find an issue while testing, the rollout should be put on hold until this is solved. As an example, at Virtual IT, all monthly Microsoft updates are tested to a very high degree on a virtual test environment before being rolled out to any of our clients.
If you have a virtual infrastructure it may be an idea to take a snapshot which can then be deleted once you are happy that everything is working.
It is important to make the time for maintenance and update to be done as not doing this could mean days if not weeks of recovery time, or lower productivity as machines and devices grind to a halt.
To make sure that all devices are updated and running as they should it is important to ensure that critical updates are carried out in a timely fashion. An outline should be drawn which indicates when devices will be offline and make sure that all relevant parties who are effected are aware that the devices will not be available at those allocated time slots.
Keeping things updated can be a cumbersome task, but it is essential to the smooth running or every IT Infrastructure which is the backbone of almost every organisation.
For any advice or assistance with software/firmware updates please feel free to contact our team.