Since the advent of IT instruments in business in the 90s, we, office workers, have been through many workplace transformations — from early Windows adopters with Windows 1.0 by the end of the 80s, to the latest Windows 10 Users.
1994, Nice French Riviera: I opened up Windows 3.0 with fresh business eyes, and five years after that I had to experience my first Desktop revolution with Windows 95. Under the guidance of the CIO, we all were summoned to migrate to the new OS. He decided the date and the time, regardless of business concerns, so I thought (as young as I was) that the CIO was the ‘big boss’ of the company. At that time, desktop strategy was a matter for IT Managers. Remember the much-loved Windows 98? Or ME and XP? It was the golden age for CIOs, who ruled the roost of our professional environment. “What PC brand are you going to work with?” “Which software are you using?” “How strong is your CPU?” “How much storage do you get?” “When are you allowed to print?”, came the volley of questions. We are clearly out of that era now.
Despite all the efforts undertaken by Microsoft to once again bring “the best OS ever, you must adopt ASAP,” CIOs struggled more and more each time to convince their board to go their way.
My habits have changed since I wrote my first doc on Word 1. Today, I am highly connected, I am an ultra-nomad, and very used to high-availability tools and services (throwing the 10-time reboots needed per day on W95 to pre-history) I have become a Power User. Like many others, I don’t let technical concerns dictate my way of working anymore.We prefer to use our personal tools, work from our own premises, use our Cloud services, regardless of whether it is for personal or professional concern. We collaborators, claim to be able to work anytime, anywhere. Do you know any boss, naive enough to go against that?
So, what is the impact on us – both as an end-user and as a Sogetist?
- As a Sogetist, earlier, we used to build migration business cases for our customers, where hardware was the main issue. Who still cares about it? Prices are almost all the same, we have a leveling of features, and plug-and-play has definitely erased devices and drivers issues (do you remember IRQ dilemmas?). We overcame hardware. It is not a parameter to consider for migration strategy definition anymore.
The OS. Since XP, Windows is robust and secure enough to get the job done with quite high productivity and since XP, programs are globally compatible on all versions. No real impact on my habits really. Moreover, if we consider VDI and application virtualization, we even overcome the OS hosted on our hardware. In some Citrix cases, you don’t even notice what OS you are running on.
So, we went from a HW & SW migration strategy driver — which is no more relevant today — to an anthropological and business focus driver.
- From an end-user point-of-view now. All the members of my family own a powerful PC at home, with a high bandwidth, agile cloud services which, compared to what I use for important business activities, makes me feel uncomfortable, almost ashamed. How can I accept this gap without feeling frustrated?
Windows Migrations – The top 3 things to bear in mind
Windows migrations, I should say Workplace migrations are no more IT projects but HR projects. Enterprises must consider the way their people work, in a globalized world. Standardization is no more the key point. Giving the same to everyone to ease the CIO’s life, is not the best option. More than ever, adapt or die. So what is to envisage?
1. Population profiling: First, run a profiling of your population
- By generation: baby-boomers, X, Y and Z
- By location: on dense traffic, or not, near airport, train station
- By communication and collaboration needs: really mandatory to work 100% physical proximity, or not
- By physical space needed: paperless small desk, or physical storage needs
- By security needs (sensitivity of data managed)
- By human wishes and values
2. Security: The next matter to consider is Security. Why grow if we can’t safely keep consistency of what we get? Today, the risk germinated by the lack of security is so high that you must take into account every single topic. Allow new ways of working, but in a safe bubble.
3.Premise: Then, think about your premises. The Cloud helps us forget about the dogma of getting all our IT goods on our premises. So, let’s go on. What kind of premises do we need for the future? As many desks as colleagues? Surely not. So let’s consider home offices, not for everyone, but based on profiling and considering security matters. You get more accurate on your business, while saving money. We started talking about Windows and we are now talking about walls and square meters.
Being ahead, hiring and keeping the best collaborators requires you to integrate and adopt new IT solutions frequently; being sure of the pertinence of it and your capabilities to manage/support it. Something quite hard for non-IT companies to handle. That is typically what Sogeti is made for. With certified people, constantly scanning the whole technologic range, Sogeti impregnates its customers’ needs and habits to apprehend the most relevant solutions that suit them.
Following the fast-moving society, enterprises are humanly and disruptively changing, passing from uniformed blocks to complex and diverse profiles. So the good question is not, when are you going to migrate to Windows 10, but when are you going to face out the time of disruption?
About Kamel Abid
In summer 2014, Kamel Abid celebrated his 20th year as an IT professional, while swimming among computers and keyboards since the age of 5. Today, he manages tens of experts & architects, involved in complex transformation and integration of IT infrastructures in Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.
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