We recently ran a survey asking respondents (over 1,100 IT pros) about their thoughts and plans on the topic of desktop modernisation. Along the way, we took the opportunity to figure out where organisations are out there today with their desktop estates.
One of the challenges associated with desktop computing is that discussions around needs and value are often complicated by subjective matters.
Even users with relatively routine requirements usually have opinions on what matters about the machine on their desk. There is then the question of image and status that pre-occupies certain types of user, and the tricky job of separating actual business needs from personal interests and desires when it comes to power users.
Layered on top of this are factors such as advocacy and religion, with Mac and Linux fans preaching their alternative way, some in IT looking for an easier life trying to force thin clients on everyone, and even good old fashioned reactionary politics playing a role, as some object to Microsoft’s dominance and what they perceive as a faceless global organisation exploiting its commercial clout.
Tech Panel results
Some findings are pretty much as you would expect – e.g. it’s a Windows world, with XP in particular still dominating the business PC environment. But some of the other stuff that came out was a little more interesting. We found, for example, that the strong positive reception to Windows 7, even before its release, had led to two out of three then current Vista migration initiatives being halted or put on hold.
We also uncovered evidence emphasising the importance of future-proofing desktop estates, and indications that the deferral of investment in many organisations as a result of the downturn and lack of enthusiasm for Vista had elevated the risks here.
Pulling it all together, our research showed i the importance of understanding the requirements of different types of user, which can vary significantly, and taking a service delivery view of world rather than getting bogged down in the relative merits of newer and older technology at a feature/function level.