Transition to Windows 7 and Adoption of VDI – Short term technology refresh, or a strategic direction?

Transition to Windows 7 and Adoption of VDI – Short term technology refresh, or a strategic direction?

 

Written by Ole-Kristian Sivertsen, Regional Director Nordics at RES Software

 

I’ve recently been on the road for a week doing seminars together with Microsoft and other partners. The theme for this Roadshow was the transition to Windows 7 and Virtual Desktops.

During this week I had the pleasure of meeting nearly 150 skilled IT people and managers from various companies and organizations.

In the face of all these, I discovered what is perhaps the most important for today’s client and desktop solutions – especially in light of all pending projects for transition to Win7 and introduction of VDI solutions

What I am going to describe is how this transition can be strategic direction, rather than remaining just another tactical and short-term technology refresh.

One challenges of “Windows Desktops” is that they are relatively static and require much manual maintenance. Administration of static solutions will lead to a lot of customization and scripting along with many manual tools. This is complex, expensive to maintain, inflexible and not very user friendly.

 

The solution is to introduce “Dynamic Desktops”.

 

A Dynamic Desktop is a Windows-based workspace (physical or virtual) that is aware of the situation or context of the user at any given time – and in accordance with this dynamically adjusts the content and appearance of the workspace.

Being aware of situation or context and having the ability to dynamically adapt accordingly is well known in many areas.

Take the car as an example: It may be aware that it is raining and start the wipers at the correct speed. Some are aware of objects approaching when reversing and alerts immediately. The display of radios and consoles can change their level of contrast and appearance when the surroundings are dark versus light. Some cars can even dim the high beam automatically when approaching other cars at night.

These features make life easier for the user – there is no need to dig through the user manual or call the service center to find out how to use advanced features. The user can focus fully on the task of driving. The result is increased enjoyment, improved productivity and greater security.

Like the car, also a technology rich “Windows Desktop” or Workspace can be intelligent and dynamic.

In the office the user needs to access a unique combination of applications, data, printers, and user settings – this is a Personal Workspace. When the user moves to another location and logs on, the content and appearance is delivered in accordance with who the user is, the current role or situation, the location, what client is used and the time of day. For this location access to a local printer is automatically provided

If the user logs on to a laptop from home, the Workspace is aware of where he is – and dynamically adapts for the home location and current time. For security reasons, access to sensitive data and applications is blocked – but in the evening the users gets access to services like iTunes and his music.

Dynamic Desktops ensures that wherever the users are, the right Workspace is always available. The result is a simpler life and increased job satisfaction, fewer help desk calls, higher productivity and better security.

If your organization is planning to implement Windows 7 or VDI solutions – the gains can be far greater by first or simultaneously making a move to Dynamic Desktops.

In July this year RES Software conducted a survey related to Win7 and VDI adoption and challenges. Close to 1,000 CIOs and IT specialists participated. Among these, 8 out of 10 have decided to implement Windows 7, and nearly half will also introduce Virtual Desktops. The biggest concern is the migration of user profiles, loss of productivity and dissatisfied users. This can easily be addressed by introducing Dynamic Desktops as part of the project

The survey also shows that the vast majority expects to use between 7-18 months for the complete project. Analysis, design and testing are the phases expected to consume the most time. This is also a good reason to consider what the organization really wishes to achieve.

A traditional project will bring the infrastructure from static Windows XP or Vista desktops to a new but still static Windows 7 desktop. Alternatively, from static local desktops to new but still static virtual desktops.


When planning to use 7-18 months to introduce a new Desktop Solution anyway, why not reap the rewards of making the new platform Dynamic?

– This will also ease migration headaches, provide better quality and reduced risk for the project. And even ensure that users retain their personal settings and preferences so they can be fully productive during and after the migration.

What I hear from many IT professionals about projects like this is that they tend to have lack of resources, challenging milestones and deadlines – and there is always an urgency. In a busy workday these challenges leave little time for reflection and the overall long-term goals.

 

“Remember that speed is rarely a good compensation for the lack of direction. My advice is: Stop and decide on a strategic direction before you jump to tactical technology upgrades.”

An operating system itself is no strategy, and transition to Windows 7 is only a tactical choice of a technology refresh. If the vision is to deliver more effective tools for company employees, and to improve overall productivity – the introduction of Dynamic Desktops is a clear and sound strategy.

A Strategy for Future Ready Desktops!