Published/updated: November 2009
by Dale Vile and Tony Lock
The personal computer is one of the few parts of the IT infrastructure with which the user interacts directly, and is often, rightly or wrongly, regarded as ‘personal’ by the employee. The desktop environment is also very dynamic from a technology evolution perspective, with the relentless release of higher spec machines and new versions of software. Against this background, how important is it to keep things up-to-date, and is there still a case for investing in modernisation?
The normal upgrade cycle has been interrupted, but activity looks set to resume
Over half (54%) of the 1,127 participants in a recent study report desktop upgrades being deferred as a result of the economic downturn, typically by about a year. Together with a lukewarm response to Windows Vista, a consequence is that only 23% of organisations would describe their current desktop infrastructure as modern and up-to-date. The more positive response to Windows 7, however, together with an upturn in the economy, looks set to rekindle quite a few upgrade plans looking ahead. Overall, two thirds of organisations have desktop modernisation on the agenda for the coming 12 months, and around 20% anticipate Windows 7 deployments to have started by mid-2010.
Understanding user needs is an important pre-requisite to any desktop initiative
In terms of demand, while some argue that the personal computer has now become ‘part of the furniture’ in the business environment, feedback suggests the majority of users actually care quite a bit about the PC they use, so the appetite for upgrades within the business is generally strong. In terms of specifics, performance and stability are universally highlighted as key concerns. Mobile users then emphasise battery life and convenience, while power-users call out a desire for the latest software. Even those with more modest needs highlight the importance of the user experience. Understanding these varying requirements is key to prioritising, scoping and justifying investment.
Future proofing the desktop estate is as important as meeting immediate needs
In terms of current pain, over three quarters of study respondents allude to issues arising from older equipment, ranging from excessive operational overhead in the IT department, to reduced employee productivity and staff morale/satisfaction issues within the business. Tellingly, just over a quarter of respondents are running estates in obvious need of modernisation, and these are typically between 30% and 50% more likely to be experiencing problems. Another half of respondents are faring reasonably well today, but have aging estates likely to run into issues as hardware and software release cycles continue to turn. Future-proofing for this group is therefore an important imperative.
An objective, service-centric approach is recommended when moving forward
Rather than blindly re-start the traditional routine of upgrade and migration in response to better hardware capability and new software releases, IT departments are urged to take a step back and think of the desktop from a service delivery perspective. Some are already considering the role of desktop virtualisation and/or Windows alternatives such as Mac OS X and Linux, and with a selective approach to adoption, these may or may not help with service levels in some areas. Another key area to look at is operations and support, as the evidence suggests significant room for improvement here. Whatever route is chosen, the imperative is to focus on business value rather than pure technology.
Study based on feedback gathered via an online survey of 1,127 IT professionals from the UK, USA, and other geographies.
This report is free of charge. Click above to download the PDF or view the interactive e-document.
If you experience any problems during this process please contact us at;
firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1425 626501 / 620008
By Dale Vile
Network traffic flows have become pretty complex in today’s distributed business environment, and not just for large corporates. This became clear during a recent research study in which 610 small/medium-sized businesses gave us feedback ...more
By Jack Vile & Dale Vile
As both company and personally owned mobile devices are increasingly used in business, understanding and dealing with the associated risks has become a significant concern for many. In this report we explore some of the trends in mobile technology adoption. ...more
By Dale Vile
In a recent online survey in which responses were gathered from almost three hundred IT and business professionals, we investigated the related set of challenges and risks arising from fragmented cloud adoption in the area of security ...more
By Dale Vile
Organisations are increasingly turning to multi-tiered shared storage environments to deal with growing data volumes, changing business requirements, and IT delivery models. Managing Quality of Service (QoS) at scale, however, requires a highly automated approach ...more
By Tony Lock
VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) are due to be released in 2015 and have been designed to help streamline deployment, make ongoing administration of VMs more straightforward, and to allow each VM to be managed individually. ...more
By Dale Vile
By Dale Vile
Creating a more customer centric business environment has historically been hard to achieve. In this paper, we will examine how technology and market trends, together with changes in the regulatory landscape, are elevating the status of customer centricity from ‘aspirational ideal’ to ‘business critical imperative’. ...more