Forces of Chaos
#1: The Unwelcome Update:
Did we agree to this? Why does information technology disrupt our work so often?
In this series of posts we explore why many organisations find themselves fighting unruly technology. We'll look at where the complexity comes from, and the weapons and tactics needed to control it.
Your desktop computers show warning messages, run very slowly and reboot at inconvenient times, causing you to lose the work you were doing. Your software changes its appearance and behaviour without warning.
Your software was probably installed with a setting that causes it to automatically obtain and install updates - after all, updates are a Good Thing™, right?
If no-one knows what will happen at each update, why not ask for someone to preview and test the updates, and write up a notice on the changes to expect?
Perhaps your reseller didn't ask when would be the most convenient time to schedule the installations, or whether you would like it to occur silently and invisibly. These behaviours are most often controlled with built-in settings, but occasionally additional software tools may be required.
You signed up for automatic updates because your computer reseller or service provider probably advised you that updates are important for the stability and security of your computer.
Of course, automatic updates also make it possible for software vendors to promote add-on products, remove features you might have come to rely on and nag you about signing up for a maintenance subscription that you aren't sure you need.
For some software, critical / security updates are infrequent and you may have the option to skip non-critical updates. Ask your service provider to investigate this.
Updates should happen when your organisation needs them.
Your business should never be interrupted.
Your staff should know exactly what to expect, and how to work with it.