Use Windows 7 end of support to reboot desktop IT

What does a modern desktop look like? For the last few decades since the desktop PC established its place in offices, the role of desktop IT has been to provide end-users with access to corporate approved software and enterprise data, file servers and printers.

But the ease with which end users can create and distribute information has introduced its own set of problems. For instance, the success of email has made it far too easy for people to have several revisions of the same document exist on the corporate network. Logically, it makes sense to deploy cloud-based storage. This enables colleagues to collaborate and share information via the cloud, such that a single version of the document can be shared, changes can be tracked and people can comment on revisions. But if one user in the team continues to use email, this often determines how other colleagues communicate.

The road ahead for the CIO and IT department will involve showing the tech laggards in the business how new cloud-based tools, simplify traditional email-based workflows.

Change how people use PCs for work

It’s about providing people with the right technology to deliver a good level of employee experience, such that they realise there are benefits in adapting old working practices.

In 2016, MIT’s Building business value with employee experience report found that companies with scores in the top quartile of employee experience, were twice as innovative as the bottom quartile, based on the percentage of revenue generated from new products and services in the last two years.

Focus on a good employee experience

Insight’s recent Employee Experience report found that a lack of engagement and the unavailability of useful, user-friendly technology in organisations is having a negative impact on staff productivity. Similarly, a YouGov survey for Avanade found that UK companies are failing to realise the value from their workplace technology investments.

MIT does not believe CIOs should adopt a command and control strategy to deploy new technology that improves employee experience. But CIOs face a credibility issue. End users often regard IT as a blocker, preventing them from achieving what they need to do. Introducing new tools just gets in the way of what they already have to put up with: multiple logins, the need to rekey information between different applications and sluggish, out-dated PC hardware.

The end of support of Windows 7 on January 14, 2020 provides CIOs with a compelling reason to change end user desktop computing practices.

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