Forever, (or at least since ’81 and the IBM PC) individuals and businesses have purchased (or acquired through other channels) their software to run on their PC’s and they expected it to run there for years and years. And in most cases it did. There was nothing to compel you to do differently.
Well in case you have been caught napping, the smart phone came along more than 10 years ago and as they say, “The world changed.” It truly has changed the face of computing and the notions of software that runs on computers (including all devices.)
What is the big deal? You ask… Well for most individuals the big deal is really not a big deal. When the device you have (PC, tablet, smart-phone, TV, whatever) is out of date you do what most people do, go to Amazon or Best Buy and come home with a new X Box, you get the picture – software is included. In other words, “No thinking required, No brainer, Not a problem.”
For businesses that is not the case. [Shakespearean Aside: My definition of a business in this post excludes those very small businesses that are virtually “one-man” operations who behave as individuals.] Business owners follow time-honored and government regulated practices which immediately put the brakes on the, “lets just upgrade” mentality. The non-business person who likely is employed by one, is even guilty of saying lets just get new software. The problem with that thinking is simply this, the customer will be affected and that is a negative (unless you are Apple).
Fortunately for you I am not going into all that business hoopla; there are plenty of online articles and debate enough already for you to do your own research.
The Point of this Post:
Today, computers (including all devices) are effectively disposable equipment with an expected lifetime of approximately three (3) years. With hardware refresh rates shorting even more. Cars, for example, are on a one year refresh rate. Yes, I know cars last more than a year but it is out of date in one year. You practically have no choice now but to take it regularly back to the dealer for a software upgrade. In the computer business this is a “patch” or “bug fix.” So if high-ticket priced items are on a schedule, then it is reasonable to assume that devices follow the same type of curve. They do.
Businesses must alter their purchasing practices of the software that drives/supports their line-of-business. If you continue to think that your software is a fixture like your building, then you are going to be in a financial predicament in the near future. Software is a service, hardware (infrastructure) is a lease. Start recalculating your business plans. If you need help, you need to contact someone like me to assist you.
(Note: All companies mentioned in this article are owners of their various trademarks and other intellectual property. I make no claim to any of their respective rights and have used them here as common well-known public companies for illustrative purposes. I am or have been a customer of each.)