Less than one fifth of businesses will broadly deploy Office 2010 this year but the majority are holding off due to fears over the complexities of migration, according to a survey by Dell KACE.
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The system management vendor found 85% of 953 IT professionals polled planned to adopt the software but almost as many (78%) voiced concerns about the switch over. Just 4% have fully rolled out Office 2010 and 18% plan to do so this year.
"The complexity of supporting multiple versions of Microsoft Office and the concerns over business interruption during the migration process have caused IT organisations to delay deployment," said Rob Meinhardt, president and co-founder at Dell KACE.
The migration process is understood to be a "large, complex and daunting project that they are not ready to embrace" the survey found, with the major concern surrounding training for the new ribbon interface, compatibility with current apps and licensing.
"IT organisations of all sizes are looking to upgrade to Office 2010 eventually, but they want to be assured that the transition process occurs as smoothly as possible," said Diane Haggulund, analyst at Dimensional Research, which conducted the study.
"At this time, it seems that migration concerns are outweighing confidence of a speedy Office 2010 migration," she added.
Customers planning Windows 7 migration were also looking at deploying Office 2010 at the same time to minimise disruption, SCC chief technology officer Rhys Sharp said.
"Times are tight so organisations are cautious of anything that may impact them in a potentially negative wa,y including loss of staff productivity. We are spending a lot of time planning with customers to ensure they minimise that impact," he said.
Firms that buy Enterprise Agreements are licensed to allow staff to deploy Office 2010 at home to get used to the application, he added.