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 and Tony Lock
It’s easy to be caught out by a cyber attack or internal mistake that leads to your customers’ data or important intellectual property ending up on the black market. Making sure your business is adequately protected and is able to respond effectively to a security incident ...more
By Dale Vile Tony Lock & Jack Vile
Application programming interfaces (APIs) have been around for decades. In the early days of IT they were primarily used to give programmers convenient access to libraries of prebuilt functions. As systems became more distributed, APIs found their place ...more
By Dale Vile & Jack Vile
The world we live in is increasingly digital. As the smart use of technology leads to markets speeding up and becoming ever more unpredictable, a strong set of established offerings and execution capabilities only gets you so far. Feedback from 1,442 IT ...more
By Dale Vile
Advances in digital technology create significant opportunities to transform both customer engagement and business operations. As the trends in these areas continue, feedback from 1,442 respondents in a recent survey highlight 10 key traits of the highest achievers. ...more
By Dale Vile
IT infrastructures are often coping pretty well with current business requirements, but many IT professionals are aware that new and changing needs will lead to future capability gaps. They also know that more of the same is not the answer ...more
By Dale Vile
In today’s fast-moving, information-intensive business environment, data management is more of a challenge than ever. Relying on manual processes and scripts, or ad hoc piecemeal automation, is not sustainable ...more
By Dale Vile
A perennial problem with storage is how to deal with escalating requirements in a smooth, manageable and non-disruptive manner. By removing many of the traditional limits on system expansion, Ceph based configurations ...more
By Dale Vile
Not so long ago, many were speculating that ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) would define the future of end user computing. Most organisations today, however, see a role for both company and employee owned equipment to meet the wide and varied range of needs ...more