There’s no doubt that one of the most complex undertakings for IT organizations is the deployment of a new desktop operating system (OS). Is it possible that you’ve completed your very last desktop OS deployment ever?
That just could be the reality of enterprise application management, thanks to the drastic changes in the nature of the enterprise application. Chances are that your organization was part of the longest OS lifetime in history, getting the maximum ROI on Windows XP by using it throughout its full 9-year lifetime. Windows 7 arrived when it was clear that XP was at the end of its functional life in the enterprise, and most organizations completed a Windows 7 deployment during 2011 or 2012.
What About Windows 8?
Gartner analyst Jason Mick put it bluntly in his blog when he wrote, “80% of businesses will never adopt Windows 8 because it does not bring a compelling set of features for business users over Windows 7.”
The exception is in the area of Windows 8 tablets, which are finding champions among enterprise IT managers and corporate users. Analyst Michael Cherry told Reuters, “Some organizations, when they look at Windows 8 Intel tablets, they are going to like them because they are manageable. When they look at RT they are going to be disappointed, because it’s no easier to manage than an iPad.”
Doug Johnson, head of risk management policy at the American Bankers Association, similarly argues to Reuters: “Windows 8 is, frankly, more of a consumer platform than it is a business platform, so it’s not something that makes any sense from a business perspective at this juncture. There is really no additional business functionality that Windows 8 gives you that I see.”
What’s Next in Enterprise Application Management?
So what’s next for in the world of enterprise application management? Web services, mobile devices and virtualization have changed the traditional PC management model. So many organizations are reaching the conclusion that they have actually finished their last desktop OS deployment.
Enterprise application management trends that are helping them avoid the hassle and cost of desktop OS deployments include:
- Virtualization (lower-cost centralized resources for simpler management & deployment)
- 64-bit technologies (improved application speed and productivity)
- IPv6 (a unique IP address for every Internet-enabled device, plus embedded security)
- Integrated VHDs (virtual hard drives transform enterprise application management with simpler protection and management)
- App-V (enterprise application virtualization eliminates conflicts and works with the running state of the app – not just the installation)
- VDI (virtual desktop infrastructures centralizes all PC management by running PCs as virtual machines within a data center)
- New form factors (Netbooks, iPhones, iPads, Android tablets, and other smart phones require only a Remote Desktop Connection and a Web browser, providing significant cost reductions in enterprise application support)
With so many options, are desktops still an absolute requirement? Yes, for now. But their role is changing in the next decade as the workforce becomes increasingly mobile.