As the New Year begins, Micromine is reminding mining companies to update their software to avoid potential cyber-security breaches, data loss, system integration issues and operational downtime in 2019.
The reminder comes on the back of Micromine’s release of new versions of Geobank and Micromine in 2018, which delivered a range of new productivity tools features and data security enhancements on both the exploration and mine design and geological data management solutions.
It also comes in the same week mining and metals processing company Nyrstar was hit by a cyber attack.
Micromine Chief Technology Officer, Ivan Zelina, said: “Software updates are often overlooked as they are not as visible as other business processes, but the value of new software versions should not be underestimated in our current, highly digitalised mining environment.
“Investing in software, but not upgrading it, is like buying a new car but never getting it serviced – you simply won’t get the best out of it.”
Potential risks and issues of not upgrading software, according to Micromine, include:
- Security – all software and saved files become vulnerable to hacking and cyber crimes over time. Developers like Micromine proactively identify and address security threats, holes and bugs in new software versions;
- Compatibility – many different technology systems and platforms are used simultaneously, which means older versions of software can be slow or not configure properly when integrated with other, newer platforms. As new technology emerges, it’s important that systems remain compatible. For example, Geobank Mobile integrates with the latest magnetic susceptibility devices, barcode readers, GPS, in-built and external cameras and more;
- Inefficiency – new features and enhancements exist in updated software to make it easier to use, faster and more effective. Micromine invests significantly into continuous research and development to ensure clients enjoy intuitive, feature-rich functionality and interpretive capabilities with each upgrade;
- Support – older software versions are often not supported as developers focus on improvements to enhance client outcomes. Users operating on outdated versions can waste time and energy on workarounds or lost time addressing issues.
- People – by providing staff with the latest, innovative software tools, mining companies are more likely to attract and retain the best talent. It provides employees with the opportunity to learn and apply new techniques to problem solving whilst increasing their knowledge and skills.
To ensure clients can easily manage software upgrades, Micromine offers an annual licence programme for Geobank and Micromine.
The company said: “After paying a one-off annual fee, clients receive unlimited software upgrades and patches, complimentary new version training and participation in software beta programs and focus groups.”