The Risks of Untested and New Software: Navigating the Digital Minefield

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: February 14, 2024

In the fast-paced world of technology, the allure of the newest software can be irresistible. Whether it's a cutting-edge operating system, a revolutionary app, or a promising software update, the temptation to leap at the latest tech offering is understandable. However, this enthusiasm often overlooks a critical aspect of digital adoption: the risks associated with untested and new software. This blog will explore these risks, why they matter, and how to mitigate them.

Why the Rush for New Software?

The tech industry is driven by innovation and the perpetual quest for improvement. New software promises enhanced features, better user experience, and solutions to previous bugs and issues. However, this race for the latest and greatest can sometimes outpace the essential thorough testing process.

Cloud software, also known as cloud computing or Software as a Service (SaaS), is not inherently "new" in the context of the broader technology landscape. It has been evolving and gaining traction for several years now. However, new cloud software applications and services are continually being developed and released within this domain.

What is Cloud Software?

Cloud software refers to applications and services that are hosted on remote servers and accessed over the internet. This contrasts with traditional software that is installed and runs on individual computers or on-premises servers. Examples include Google Workspace, Salesforce, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, and various cloud-based CRM, ERP, and project management tools.

Evolution of Cloud Software

  • Early 2000s: The concept of cloud computing started gaining popularity. Companies like Salesforce began offering enterprise applications via a website.
  • Mid to Late 2000s: Major players like Amazon (AWS), Google (Google Cloud), and Microsoft (Azure) launched their cloud services, expanding the market significantly.
  • 2010s Onwards: Cloud computing became mainstream, with a wide range of services available including storage, computing power, and various SaaS applications for both enterprise and personal use.

Is Cloud Software New?

  • In General: As a concept and technology, cloud software is not new. It's been a significant part of the IT industry for over two decades.
  • Continual Innovation: The field is constantly evolving, with new applications, features, and services being developed. In this sense, there are always "new" elements in cloud software.
  • Emerging Trends: Areas like cloud-native development, edge computing, AI integration in cloud services, and serverless architectures represent newer frontiers in cloud technology.

Risks and Considerations

Just like with any software, new cloud software applications or updates can come with risks:

  1. Security and Privacy: Data stored in the cloud can be vulnerable if not properly secured. It's crucial to understand the security measures and compliance standards of the cloud service provider.
  2. Reliability and Downtime: Depending on a third-party provider means your service is at the mercy of their uptime. Outages, though rare, can happen.
  3. Data Control: When you use cloud software, your data is stored on servers you don't control, which might be a concern for sensitive information.
  4. Integration and Compatibility: New cloud services need to be compatible with your existing systems and software.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: This is especially relevant for industries with strict data handling regulations.

In conclusion, while cloud software itself is not new, it's a dynamic field with continuous innovations and new offerings. As with any new software adoption, it's important to weigh the benefits against potential risks and challenges.

Risks Associated with Untested and New Software

Security Vulnerabilities

  • Exposure to Attacks: New software, especially if inadequately tested, can have security loopholes that are easily exploitable by hackers. These vulnerabilities can lead to data breaches, identity theft, and other cybercrimes.
  • Lack of Security Patches: Often, new software may not have immediate patches available for newfound vulnerabilities, leaving users exposed for longer periods.

Stability and Reliability Issues

  • Crashes and Bugs: Untested software can be riddled with bugs that can cause the system to crash, leading to data loss and productivity.
  • Incompatibility: New software may not be fully compatible with existing systems or other software, leading to disruptions and malfunctions.

Performance Problems

  • Resource Intensive: Some new software can be more resource-intensive, slowing down the system, especially older ones, affecting overall performance.
  • Unoptimized Features: Features that haven't been properly tested might not perform as expected, leading to frustration and wasted time.

Compliance and Legal Issues

  • Regulatory Non-Compliance: Certain industries have strict regulations regarding software and data handling. Untested software can inadvertently lead to non-compliance, resulting in legal and financial repercussions.

Mitigating the Risks

Wait for Reviews and Updates

  • Avoid being the first to adopt new software. Let others test the waters and wait for initial user reviews and updates that address the early bugs.

Conduct Thorough Testing

  • If you're in a position to test new software, do so in a controlled environment. Ensure that it doesn't interfere with critical systems and data.

Backup Regularly

  • Regular backups can be a lifesaver. In case the new software causes data loss, having a backup ensures you can restore your system to its pre-installation state.

Understand the Return Policy

  • Know the return or refund policy for the software. If it doesn’t meet your expectations or causes issues, a refund or exchange might be possible.

Stay Informed

  • Keep up with tech news and updates about the software. Staying informed helps in making educated decisions about whether to update, downgrade, or wait.


The excitement for new software is understandable and justified in a world where digital advancements are synonymous with progress. However, this enthusiasm should be tempered with caution. Untested and new software carries risks that can have significant implications. By understanding these risks and taking proactive steps to mitigate them, individuals and businesses can navigate this digital minefield safely, ensuring they reap the benefits of new technology without falling victim to its pitfalls. Remember, in the digital world, patience is not just a virtue; it's a shield.

As I mentioned in this blog, I highly recommend downloading our 2024 Digital Enterprise Operations Report and following our weekly podcasts or YouTube channel for more on the holistic approach to business technology. Please also feel free to reach out to me directly at with any feedback or questions on this blog. My team and I are happy to be an informal soundboard for your project.

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Eric Kimberling

Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.

Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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