While security updates for Windows XP will continue well into 2015, the end of support and non-security updates is less than 50 days away. According to IDC, as reported by Reuters, shipments of PCs fell 9.85 is 2013 and are expected to drop another 6.1% this year. As more knowledge workers rely on mobile devices, the need for, and desire for, traditional desktops and laptops is vanishing.
So what is your next move?
If you upgrade from XP, your choices are limited. Windows 8.x has been soundly rejected as a productivity killer and support challenge by enterprises as well as small and mid-size businesses. With the expected release of Windows 9 sometime in the next year, Windows to 7 is a dead end.
Even worse, moving off XP triggers a wave of related costs, as your hardware, endpoint protection, Office suite, client access licenses, backup software, etc. must all undergo upgrades at the same time (see our prior post on this topic here).
Maybe, the “same ole, same ole” just does not work anymore. Maybe, it is time to explore new options. Here is some food for thought.
Hosted VDI: Hosted VDI, or virtual desktop infrastructure, environments provide you with your operating system, productivity apps, endpoint protection, disk space, and data protection — as a service. Rather than capital expenditures, project fees, and on-going maintenance and support costs, hosted VDI services charge monthly fees for the resources you need/use and each user with an account. Most hosted VDI services (including ours) let you install legacy and custom applications as well. You get the environment you need without huge expenditures and version lock-in.
Cloud Back Office: Google Apps is the best example of how businesses can provide back office IT services without building infrastructure. Leveraging Google Apps as a platform, businesses gain email, communication, collaboration, and productivity services. As important, Google Apps can provide robust and secure file services and cloud print services. Beyond replacing your email server, Google Apps can replace file and print servers as well.
L.O.B. Cloud: With greater cloud acceptance comes greater availability of cloud-based line of business (LOB) applications and systems. From CRM and service applications to professional service automation (PSA) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, many businesses can find the line of business applications they use in the cloud. Moving to LOB Cloud solutions, eliminates the need for complex on-premise systems as well as significant operational expense.
New End Devices: As reported by CNET, Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, says that Chromebooks “have surprised us.” Here is why. When you move to the cloud, you can change your end-user devices. To access cloud services and hosted VDI, you need an Internet connection and a compatible browser. Tablets, thin clients, and Chromebooks become viable, lower cost solutions that give users access to the applications and data they need, without the acquisition and operating costs of heavy hardware and the Microsoft ecosystem.
So what is your next move?
Do you follow your current vendors without question? Or, is it time to look at the innovative options and new market leading solutions?
Do you continue to carry the full Microsoft burden? Or, do you move to nimble hardware and cloud/hosted solutions, renting only the Microsoft environment you actually need?
Leave a comment, below, or contact us to explore your options.