If your software is working, why bother to upgrade? Some companies have an added layer of validation requirements that make upgrading an expensive and onerous process. These unique and internal procedures are meant to assure that data and processes are accurate and dependable, but often these procedures prevent timely upgrades of dated software and actually have the opposite effect by slowing systems and creating risk. Most software companies retire support for older versions of software when new ones are released. This encourages customers to take advantage of functional improvements, consolidated bug fixes and newer and more dependable technologies as they become available. Many times companies delay upgrades for years, only to find themselves needing to upgrade on an emergency basis which results in higher costs with possible disruption of services to users.
There is also the possibility of a compliance risk. Commercial off the shelf (COTS) software providers are constantly testing software and applying fixes and bug patches. The updates and point releases they provide may be put in place to assure consistent operation when underlying database management systems or web browsers are updated. Do you want to be the company representative responsible for explaining to regulators or inspectors why your quality processes are being managed on unsupported software?
Best in class companies plan for upgrades, and have a risk based process in place for their software vendors. These companies schedule upgrades, on average, every 12 to 18 months. Based on the COTS vendor’s internal validation processes and documentation, they limit the internal validation to any changes that are applied. Using a risk based approach, they may run a handful of random test scripts and if the results are the same as previous tests, that is all the regression testing they perform. This simple process has been implemented by many of our customers and has passed regulatory scrutiny as being acceptable. This has saved these customers tens of thousands and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars avoiding expensive and unnecessary redundant validation.
In addition to validation challenges, technologies change rapidly. Most people in their everyday life use these technologies on a daily basis. As an example, we are used to checking and responding to e-mails while sitting at our desk or on our smartphone while walking through an airport. The capability to use a smart phone or tablet to enter a quality event, update information or approve a record while on the go is now available in TrackWise. We have added TrackWise Analytics to help make informed fact based decisions using quality data from TrackWise and other related systems. We have enhanced the capabilities to include predictive analytics to help point to areas where problems may arise. Stratas, a cloud based offering from Sparta Systems allows you to collect, share and collaborate on your quality processes with third parties and contractors in your complex supply chain with your TrackWise system continuing to be the system of record.
To take advantage of all of these new useful technologies that will provide a measurable improvement to the quality of the products you produce for consumers does require an upgrade to the latest version of TrackWise. TrackWise 8.7 consolidates background technical improvements that has made this the most stable, thoroughly tested and user friendly version of TrackWise yet. It allows your users and company to take advantage of these exciting and beneficial new turn-key offerings.
To ease your upgrade to TrackWise 8.7, Sparta Systems has developed an “8.7 Upgrade Factory” that will assist your team in the upgrade process, while keeping your costs for this upgrade low by using proven, tested and documented upgrade processes from whatever version of TrackWise you currently have in production. Your Sparta Account Executive can provide additional information and help you get this process started.
Learn more about TrackWise 8.7 - Download the Datasheet Now.