Hardware and Software Compatibility...some of the pitfalls
In the wonderful world of software and technology, there are so many over-lapping pieces of the big puzzle that it is becoming quite difficult to keep up to date with everything. A change in one system can have a knock-on effect somewhere along the line. There are online versions of software, on premise versions and then all of the compatibility issues that go with running software on different devices and in different hardware environments.
Even buying a new computer may cause problems
Looking through the support calls that we receive for our Sage 50, Sage 200 and Sage CRM products, we find that this one particular problem that keeps cropping up. Compatibility is often something that is over-looked, particularly when customers are considering changing one part of their IT system. This could be as innocent as buying a new computer for the poor guy who has been suffering with his old creaking computer for the past few years. His time has come for his well-deserved upgrade and he can’t contain his excitement realising that his days of re-booting, refreshing, waiting and hanging are finally at an end. But what he doesn’t realise is that when he gets his sparkling new PC, some of his key applications will no longer work. This is a potential disaster, as he will not be able to perform his usual tasks unless this is resolved. This brings us to the main theme of this blog, compatibility.
Things to check
Taking this simple, but common example, the new PC has a number of things that need to be checked (ideally before buying it), such as Operating System (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 etc), Microsoft Office Versions (Office 365, Office 2010, Office 2013). Then to complicate things even more, there are 32 bit and 64 bit versions. There is memory (RAM) to check also as you wouldn’t want to have a brand new PC that runs slowly because of the number of applications and the demands that will be placed on this computer, so the type of user/usage will have an impact on how much memory you will need.
It is a bit of a minefield and it is simply impossible to be aware of and understand all of the compatibility issues before you go off on a shopping spree. This is particularly so, if you are wearing many hats in your company and software/IT is not really your forte, so placing an order for a new PC may not even get a second thought.
You also may have conflicts i.e. if you are considering a hardware upgrade, some of your existing software applications may run on Windows 8 but others may not. So, in some cases you may also need to budget to upgrade your software to ensure compatibility with your new hardware.
Our best advice
The important lesson to learn here is to check before you buy. Check with your software provider if they have a compatibility chart. Then pass this by your IT/Networking company/person to verify that everything is okay. It is really not a good idea to make any assumptions, as I am sure you would not like to be getting into messy “downgrades” after going ahead with something that is “incompatible”.
Maybe we can help.......