“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This timeless adage applies to many areas of life, but software utility and security are not among them. Technology is evolving every day, and so are the capabilities of hackers and other malicious actors. Besides improving an application’s features and performance, software updates prevent security failures that can not only cause problems for your end-users but damage your reputation and credibility as a developer.
This means your software must be accompanied by periodic fixes to guarantee invulnerability, first-rate user service, and industry leadership. With remote updates, ensuring end-users have the latest and most secure version of your software has never been easier—or more financially rewarding.
What are remote updates?
Remote updates are small changes to software, such as security improvements, new features, bug fixes, licensing changes, and upgraded functionality, that the developer provides over the phone or the internet. They enable unique product offerings while promoting timely and efficient troubleshooting, software support, and installation. Further, they save the developer money because there’s no need to deploy personnel or equipment to the hardware location or to have the hardware replaced or returned for service. While remote updates are offered in many forms, most fall into these three main categories:
- Developers send these updates to end-users to implement software upgrades and fixes to applications and devices. This form of remote update requires a connection to the internet but is the quickest and most efficient. If the connection is interrupted, the update will need to be reattempted later.
- OTA updates can be initiated in several ways. Some are automatically installed as they become available from the developer, with no input from the user. Others are installed at the user’s convenience after they receive a notification from the developer letting them know the update is available. In other cases, the user may seek out the update proactively, such as by visiting the developer’s website and clicking a link to download the update.
Over-the-phone updates are a bit outdated but still hold a place in the world of remote updates. They are initiated when the end-user sends a request to the developer. Then the updates are transferred from the developer to the end-user over the phone by entering codes that are generated through the software, which then updates the application to the required needs of the end-user.
- Like both OTA and OTP improvements, an update sent through email starts with the user’s request to update the software. The user may want to add or remove features and/or increase the licensing interval. Once the update has been sent over, a zip file or other form runs on the machine that runs the application and executes the update to the software.
What are the benefits of remote updates?
There’s no question that patching security holes are a major, if not vital, the advantage of regularly updating your software. But beyond that, think of the value you can add by rolling out convenient additions at timely intervals, all while saving money. Utilizing remote update capabilities for an application secured through a hardware dongle enhances the value of your application in three major ways:
Increase licensing options to serve users and raise your revenue
- Licensing options such as usage-based and feature-based licensing give you the power to offer only specific functions of your application or to limit the number of uses you grant to each user. With these licensing forms, you can quickly update their access to your software and better maintain and restrict access when their licenses expire. Remote updates give you true control to increase your application’s security and better maintain its integrity. They also enhance your ability to earn revenue from your hard work.
Add flexibility to licensing intervals
- Remote updates allow you to alter your licensing intervals to months, weeks, or days, whichever option suits your software best. Similarly to leasing your application, you can control who has access to it by offering authorization to end-users for predetermined licensing intervals.
- In addition to offering users more choices, you can gain more control over how frequently you receive revenue from your software. Through remote updates, you can quickly add or take away access to ensure end-users are paying for what they are using rather than taking advantage of your product for free.
Reduce costs for both you and your end-users
- As a developer, you can offer remote updates to minimize costs associated with labor and support, plus prevent user downtime. Paid support technicians will be needed less often because the software will keep pace with security threats and bugs will be short-lived. When or if problems do occur, you’ll have direct access to each user’s-chosen software features, which will enable you to quickly find out where the issues are occurring within the specific features they have purchased.
- Remote updates also benefit your end-users because when you offer them lower start-up costs through tiered, feature-based, or time-based licensing, you open up your market to those who may only need certain aspects of your application or limited access to it. Users pay only for the features or time they use to save money because they aren’t required to put up a large initial investment or pay for every available feature. And even those who are looking to cut costs will be willing to pay more when frequent updates make your application more reliable and user-friendly.
Don’t limit your product’s usefulness or hamper your revenue potential. Be proactive about offering remote updates as often as needed to stay ahead of cybercriminals, tailor your licensing method to fit your application, innovate, and lower expenses for both yourself and your end user. By ensuring consistent and competitive value for your users, you can ensure consistent and growing earnings for years to come.