Software follows a similar life-cycle as hardware. However, as opposed to hardware, here focus on the newest software first.
Sometimes the newest version is not the best (seldom, but it happens). Keep reviewing what people tell about a piece of software before committing to it.
Always keep a copy of your old software. Avoid automatic updates. If a software works, stick to it. Beware of all kinds of unethical tricks software manufacturers employ (nagware, trialware, shareware, etc). Try to focus on genuinely free, open source, or fairly priced and "no strings attached" codes.
Additionally, check the ethical background of the software manufacturers. If there is no guarantee that the software makers are honest, benevolent, tafinaf people, stay away from their code. Even if it is open source, you might not have the time, energy and expertise to review their code and judge for its quality.
If a software comes with a lengthy EULA (End User Licence Agreement), which they know nobody has the time and interest to read through that you need to lie about when you press the Accept button: stay away from it. Such companies are not ethical.
Acquiring your software also needs care when it comes to the source. It may seem that it does not matter where you get your software from. It does, however, matter. Let us show you why.
Software distribution is tricky. Software is, actually nothing else than ones and zeros: data, thus. However, there is an entire industry earning a living doing nothing else than a) protecting, b) distributing, c) maintaining, d) updating, e) securing, etc it.
Stay away from these groups of parasites. Learn to code (it's free, takes a short time and it's worth it, besides, you may even find it fun and beneficial for the rest of your life), understand the code you are using, maintain it properly, and repair your own code intelligently, when necessary. Following these steps you will save yourself countrless sleepless nights in the future as well as a huge sum of money you would otherwise spend on "IT consultants", whatever title that means.
Seek programmers from countries with aforementioned high ethical standards, where lying, cheating, stealing and other trickery is not considered "smart", rather, it is regarded as despicable. Software from such sources you may trust and it will save you time and energy when it comes to your own efforts to maintain it.