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Late movers will pay a premium for Windows 7 migration skills, warns Gartner

Jenny Williams

Organisations delaying migration to Microsoft Windows 7 face a skills shortage and may pay a premium for migration experts, research firm Gartner has warned.

The cost of IT labour will increase between 2011 and 2013 as demand for Windows 7 migration services spikes. In addition, the required PC equipment will push IT budgets up by between 18% and 24%, said Gartner.

"Microsoft will support Windows XP for four more years. With most migrations not starting until the fourth quarter of 2010 at the earliest, and PC hardware replacement cycles typically running at four to five years, most organisations will not be able to migrate to Windows 7 through usual planned hardware refresh before support for Windows XP ends," said Charles Smulders, managing vice-president at Gartner.

Gartner advised companies to accelerate PC replacement plans, update existing PCs or migrate task-workers, such as data entry roles, to a virtual hosted desktop.

"We estimate that large and mid-size organisations worldwide will migrate approximately 250 million PCs to Windows 7, during the migration timeline," said Smulders.

"It makes sense for organisations that plan to leverage external services to line up service providers early. Begin talks with suppliers now about putting in place contracts that can deliver flexible levels of resources at a fixed rate over the migration period."


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