Research: Channel should prepare for digital refreshes across firms

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There’s still a lot more to come from Windows 10 going by the wait and see game of UK CIOs

The channel is set to benefit from more technology refreshes across UK business as companies still have a lot more to do to fully adopt digital services, according to research.

Almost half (45 percent) of UK businesses have not undertaken a major refresh of their end user estate in the last year – and almost 30 percent have not done so for between two and five years.

A survey of CIOs and IT directors from 200 large (500-plus employees) businesses in the UK, conducted by Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) and Capita IT Enterprise Services, indicates that the UK enterprise IT sector is about to enter a new era of end user computing investments to support digital transformation.

Windows-10-Upgrade-684x250Paul Birkin, chief technology officer of Capita IT Enterprise Services, said: “Increased investment in end user computing will have a knock on impact for the rest of industry. Businesses will be looking to the sector to help them modernise their IT and empower their employees to thrive in this digital era.”

More than 84 percent of businesses want to support a more diverse desktop landscape with their existing IT infrastructure, while 81 percent are concerned that they will be unable to support increasing workforce mobility, including the use of smartphones.

The research has also revealed a potential “planning gap” for the migration to Windows 10, with more than half of businesses (52 percent) stating they haven’t yet planned to move to Microsoft’s latest operating system. This is despite 98 percent using Microsoft for their end user services.

Senior IT leaders and CIOs indicated two key reasons for this gap: “potential implications of Windows 10 on their security policies” (57 percent of respondents), whilst 58 percent referenced “internal capacity constraints”.

Cortana-in-Windows-10Nick Mayes, principal analyst from PAC, said: “End user computing executives face a huge challenge in balancing the need to drive operational efficiency, while securely supporting increasingly complex and fragmented landscapes.

Windows 10 represents an opportunity to bring the mobile and traditional desktop estates closer together, but the study shows that UK businesses are adopting it at different speeds.”

Capita’s Birkin added: “The research highlights the importance of the role of service providers in helping businesses prepare, migrate and successfully adopt Windows 10. With the growing awareness of Windows 10 and the benefits that it can bring, service providers can help to dispel some of the myths and address key concerns at a local level.”

Last year, 40 percent of Spiceworks members predicted their business would adopt Windows 10 by the end of July 2016. According to the latest data from Spiceworks – the global IT pros network – the latest business penetration rate for Windows 10 in EMEA stood at 18.1 percent, six months after the July 2015 launch.

@AntonySavvas