Technology Road Maps – Anticipating Technologies Nearing End of Life
So you’re humming along in your successful business with your well-functioning software, then boom, everything falls apart. This article addresses technology road maps and the end of life of software. It’s an inevitability of technology in general. Each technology will eventually lose its usefulness, be replaced by something else, or be surpassed in quality by another offering. Today we will look at how your organization can attempt to anticipate the end of life of technology.
Product Life Cycle
Every application, operating system, or type of software will go through a product life cycle. Namely these are development, growth, maturity, and decline. All technology will go through a development phase where requirements are gathered, code is implemented, results are tested, code is approved and the product launches. Eventually the application will grow and mature over time. The road maps will all eventually lead to a decline in the technology. This is the point where usage declines, support becomes harder to find or becomes non-existent, and the updates stop.
The hard part of this cycle is predicting when all this will happen. All organizations would like their software to continue to work indefinitely, but this just isn’t the case. The same goes for operating systems like Windows XP. It’s still out there on a good chunk of systems across the globe. It’s vulnerable to security issues, it’s not supported and hasn’t been updated in ages. Yet, it’s still an integral part of some company’s day to day business.
End of Life Causes
There can be many causes for end of life in technology. No single thing really causes a technology’s surmise. Software often comes to a point where its purpose is no longer needed. This doesn’t mean its intended use becomes obsolete. A new software may have simply replaced it with a new way of achieving the same goal more efficiently. The software may have also become sub par in performance. Technologies are being created and improved daily. We live in a time where things move very quickly.
This topic may be the most important aspect in regards to anticipating the end of life of technology. With new restrictions, regulations and more discussion of legislation in the US, the business risk of a major data breach is much greater. Your software was probably not built with these new requirements in mind.
Old software also becomes increasingly vulnerable to attacks. New technologies can help mitigate or eliminate these vulnerabilities. Making sure your technology is safe for your clients, business and the general public is very important.
Nearing the end of technology road maps, the cost of maintaining technology begins to add up. Trying to keep the software secure and pushing updates to keep the technology relevant can cause support costs to rise. There’s a point in which it’s no longer cost effective to continue usage of the technology. It’s now time to invest in the future. Whether it’s developing new custom written software, or updating operating systems like Windows or Office to the current version, it must all be addressed. A solid plan of expecting technology to change, grow, and eventually die will allow organizations to anticipate each of these phases. Accounting for changes in technology and your business will allow for new growth opportunities in the marketplace. Be prepared to evaluate your business and scale with new technology over the years. Don’t expect tech to stay the same – otherwise you will be passed by your competition. Flint Hills Group provides software architectural assessments to understand where your opportunities are to scale your business.
It’s nearly impossible to estimate when a technology will reach end of life but it’s important to acknowledge and plan that it will happen. Whether by natural product life cycle, outside causes, security or mounting costs; a technology will end. The important part is that organizations are cognizant of it. Evaluating your business technology and having a roadmap identified will allow your business to thrive and scale above the competition. Contact FHG to help with your technology roadmap today.