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;
email@example.com or call +44 (0)1425 626501 / 620008
By Dale Vile, Tony Lock, Jack Vile
With the phenomenal rise in the adoption of smartphones, tablets and other desirable devices, many pundits predict that the direction of corporate IT will increasingly be defined by end users. But does this make sense? ...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 & Tony Lock
If it has been a while since you thought about your DR measures, or a review has been prompted by a risk assessment, compliance audit, actual disaster or some other scare, it’s worth taking some time to understand what can be achieved in light of important changes that have taken place over the past few years. ...more
By Tony Lock
With the advent of digitisation, all public sector environments generate and capture a significant amount of electronic data. Against this background, this paper explores how to manage costs and risks while meeting these changing needs through ‘active archiving’. ...more
By Dale Vile
In some organisations, the tension between IT and business teams has come to a head around the topic of devices & the so called ‘Bring Your Own Device’ phenomenon.It’s time for IT and business managers to get together & start a proper dialogue about to deal with evolving requirements. ...more
By Dale Vile
By Dale Vile
Organisations of all sizes are trying to understand the security implications of mobile working, device proliferation and BYOD. But with IT vendors offering up a broad range of options, it can be hard to know where to focus your efforts ...more
New free to view pre-recorded webcasts available here.