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Explore these truly relevant IT industry certifications

January 15, 2016 Comments off

CertifiedIf you’re an IT professional or someone wanting to break into the glamorous world of IT, then you’ve probably considered certification. Perhaps your employer wants you to certify or maybe you think it’s time for a career move and you want to explore IT certifications. It’s confusing because there are so many certifications out there and not all of them are valued by employers or other IT staffers. This guide will help you identify the relevant certifications and why they’re relevant.

Almost every major vendor has some sort of certification plan for its products. I want to caution you against those. If a certification has a vendor label on it, I suggest that you pass it by unless you work with that product exclusively. There are, of course, exceptions. Cisco is one of those exceptions. Cisco certifications, such as the CCNA, CCIE, and CCNP are valuable, valued, and the most sought after in the business. The reason? They’re hard to pass. But that is only one reason. Other reasons include: There are jobs in the network administration field, you have to have significant experience to pass them, the jobs available for individuals who hold those certifications pay well. But exercise a bit of caution here. They’re expensive to take. The training is expensive too. The fail rate is very high, so unless you’re 100 percent dedicated to it, don’t waste your money and your time.

CompTIA certifications are highly valued in the IT business too. After Cisco, these are the ones that everyone wants. The reason? They’re vendor neutral. Certifications such as Security+, Server+, Network+, Linux+, and A+ test your knowledge of the topic while remaining vendor agnostic and that’s only a sampling of CompTIA’s certifications. Training sources are up to you and not required. You can register, pay, and take a CompTIA exam any time you wish. Your life experience can be your training. Other reasons why CompTIA exams are so valuable is that they test every aspect of a topic in considerable depth. If someone has, for example, passed the A+ exam, there’s a body of knowledge you know that individual has at his or her disposal and there’s no question about it.

ITIL Foundations certification is an extremely valuable certification, especially with larger companies, because of policies and regulations centering around change control. ITIL Foundations classes are relatively expensive and the test is rigorous, although many trainers boast a very high pass rate. My suggestion is that you focus during the three-day long class and study until you’re bored for the exam.

Microsoft CertificationsMicrosoft certifications are a whole different animal unto themselves. Some of the certifications are very difficult to pass, while others require no experience and very little study in order to achieve success. During the late 1990s, certain Microsoft certifications were shunned by the IT community because there were so many newbies entering the field who we dubbed, “Paper MCSEs.” It was true. A person with no experience could attend a class and pass the MCSE exam. It was this exam that turned many IT professionals against certification programs and against those who were certified. Microsoft has revamped its certification program considerably since those days and the number of Paper MCSEs has dropped significantly in response to those changes. These days an MCSE is a good place to start, but only if you couple it with another vendor neutral certification or two, such as the CompTIA ones.

The Microsoft Developer certification program is excellent as is its database certification track. If you have aspirations beyond tech support, check those out.

VMware certifications are another exception to the vendor certification smackdown that I gave earlier. VMware certifications for its core products are highly valued. The VCP is an honored and honorable certification. The training is expensive and the test is rigorous. Take the plunge if you have some experience and the training behind you. Couple it with another vendor neutral certification for better value.

Project Management certifications are absolutely essential in gaining any kind of momentum behind your career as a project manager. The PMP is the gold standard in the industry for project management professionals. There are too many related certifications to mention here, but these are widely recognized and considered required for positions in the industry.

Fortunately in some jobs, you can negotiate IT training that leads to certification, plus the testing fee which can be quite high in some cases. Be prepared to sign a contract for payback if you leave the job in less than a year of service after such training.

A word of caution about certification. When you certify on a product, be aware that when the new version of that product hits the market, you’ll have to certify on the new product as well. In some circles, we call this the “certification money racket.” This means that even if you are certified on Product X version 6.0, when Product X version 7.0 is released, you’ll have to take a new class and pay a new testing fee to certify. And most certifications, vendor-oriented or vendor neutral have an expiration date.

Most professionals who I know who are “certification junkies” (The ones who have several certifications behind their names) consider new certifications as continuing education and part of the cost of being an IT professional.

If you’re interested in becoming a certification instructor, the exams are the same, but you’ll have to achieve near perfect scores on the exams to attain instructor status.

No certification is worth the price if you don’t have experience, although many newcomers believe (falsely) that certification without experience helps them break into the business. My best advice is to get some real world experience (at least one year) and couple that with your certifications. If you’re serious about the IT business, especially in large companies, this approach will give you the highest return on your investment. If you can’t acquire an entry level job in which to gain some skills, buy or lease some computer equipment and learn on your own. If you are lucky enough to get an interview, there will be a team of skeptical IT professionals who will test your knowledge and they might not be nice about it, so lose the attitude and show that you know something practical as well as having the certification. Best of luck to you in your pursuits. Feel free to contact me for further information and pointers.

Disclaimer: This was a non-sponsored post.

Sponsorship: If you wish to sponsor a post or to have a product reviewed, contact me.

New Dell KACE K1000 Appliance Delivers ‘Anypoint’ Management

January 27, 2015 Comments off

DellRound Rock, Texas – January 27, 2105 – Dell today announced the newest version of its award-winning Dell KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliance, which includes new and enhanced functionality to further transform how organizations discover, configure, secure and manage computers and devices in multi-platform environments. Dell KACE K1000 version 6.3 features first-to-market systems management support of Chromebook, with seamless integration of inventory integrated directly into the K1000’s asset management, reporting and service desk capabilities.

This latest release also gives IT greater insight and control with new agentless inventory of Windows servers and PCs, as well as an option to integrate server monitoring logs and alerts for Windows, Linux and Unix servers. Additionally, enhanced agentless device discovery and asset management of any connected device offer a wealth of actionable data to help customers better manage their “Enterprise of Things.”

The Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 is a major step forward in providing “anypoint” management under a single pane of glass. “With the proliferation of mobile and smart devices connected to corporate networks, it is imperative for organizations to make systems management a top priority,” said David Kloba, vice president and general manager of Endpoint Systems Management for Dell. “We’re redefining systems management by delivering a comprehensive, easy-to-deploy anypoint management solution for hundreds to tens of thousands of computers and devices, helping IT to significantly reduce costs.”

To help organizations address the surge of mobile devices, BYOD and Internet of Things (IoT) in the workplace, Dell Software sponsored a Dimensional Research survey in December 2014. More than 700 IT professionals worldwide assessed the biggest challenges companies face in managing a never-ending onslaught of network-connected devices.

Key findings include:

  • In addition to traditional computing devices, 96 percent of those surveyed had printing devices, 84 percent had mobile devices, 78 percent had telephonic devices and 53 percent had audio-visual devices connected to their networks.
  • Nearly 90 percent of the respondents expect the total number or the total types of devices requiring management to increase in the next three years.
  • More than half of the survey respondents had three or more systems management tools; 67 percent of those polled wanted to use fewer systems.
  • Security, the ability to monitor device/application performance, and asset management were the top three concerns for addressing increased types and numbers of devices.
  • More than 60 percent of the survey participants were sure, or suspected, that there were unknown devices or applications connected to their networks.

 

Securely Manage Anypoint Systems and Devices with Dell KACE Systems Management
The Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 helps customers clear major obstacles caused by the sharp rise in the number and types of devices connected to corporate networks. With Dell KACE, organizations can alleviate security and compliance concerns while replacing multiple point solutions or manual processes with a single appliance that automates and integrates critical systems management functionality.

Benefits of the new Dell KACE K1000 include:

  • Integration of Chromebook data greatly simplifies daily administrative, security and systems management of Chrome devices.
  • Agentless asset management of Windows systems enables companies to easily manage server hardware and software without worrying about agent-based performance concerns.
  • Integrated server log monitoring offers greater oversight without requiring extensive training or special expertise.
  • Greater visibility through enhanced agentless technology produces actionable insights into a broad spectrum of non-computer devices such as printers, projectors, network routers and switches—all from a single console.

The Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 also streamlines patch management with real-time and roll-up status reporting. Additional enhancements include service desk improvements, greater integration with Dell Enterprise Mobility Management via single sign-on, and software asset management extensions for supporting more license types as well as an inventory of applications installed within Microsoft App-V.

Supporting Quotes

Dave Perry, technical operations manager, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
“The newest Dell KACE K1000 allows us to discover, configure, secure and support 600 computers, hundreds of network switches and printers, as well as automatic electronic device and powerful projection systems in our interactive exhibits, immersive classrooms and planetarium. With more than 1.3 million visitors each year, including 2,000 students each day and up to 20 events each week, it’s crucial to provide the highest level of support for Museum and research operations. With Dell KACE, we are more responsive, efficient and effective in managing and maintaining everything connected to the Museum’s network.”

Stephen Carr, chief technology officer, Ventura County Office of Education
“We continually seek new ways to increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of managing network-connected devices across 21 public school districts and a K-12 student population that current exceeds 140,000 students. As many of our smaller school districts are eager to take advantage of economical Chromebook deployments, having a simple solution for managing Chromebooks along with other computer systems and devices enables Ventura County to deliver a higher level of service to our school districts. With Dell KACE, we can best meet the needs of our schools while reducing IT administration.”

Steve Van Ginkel, director of business development, Sterling Computers Corporation
“As an award-winning member of Dell’s PartnerDirect channel program, we are committed to delivering the latest and most innovative solutions to overcome today’s complex IT challenges. With the newest release of the Dell KACE K1000, we can offer unprecedented visibility and control of ever-increasing network-connected devices in a simple, easy-to-use appliance. For our education customers, the ability to incorporate data from the Chromebook management console directly into Dell KACE for integrated inventory, asset, service desk, and reporting will yield significant IT time and cost savings.”

IDC, “Worldwide and U.S. Phone, Tablet, PC and Connected Consumer 2015 Top 10 Projections”
“Google continues to pour resources into its Chromebook efforts, and in 2014, those efforts began to drive real shipment growth, with totals increasing to a forecast of 6 million units for the year (up from 2.6 million units for the full year 2013). In 2015, the company will look to expand its Chromebook footprint, partnering with additional hardware vendors as well as new processor suppliers in an effort to drive hardware prices even lower. As a result, we expect Chromebook vendors to ship more than 9 million units in 2015.”[1]

Pricing and Availability

  • Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 is available as a physical, virtual or hosted appliance. Dell KACE K1000 pricing is $8,900 for the physical or virtual appliance and 100 managed systems – computers or servers. The K1000 as a Service is available for $6.50 per managed computer per month.
  • Existing Dell KACE K1000 customers can upgrade to the latest version at no additional cost. In addition to agentless technology, patching and service desk improvements, customers receive single sign-on capabilities with Dell Enterprise Mobility Management and one server monitoring license.
  • An additional charge of $2,000 supports up to 200 licenses for server monitoring. The license cost for managing Chromebooks and non-computing devices is $1,250 for up to 250 devices.
  • The Dell KACE K1000 is sold direct by Dell and through an extensive network of Dell certified channel partners.

 

About the Survey

  • In December 2014, a global database of IT professionals was emailed an invitation to participate in an online survey on the topic of managing endpoints in changing IT environments.
  • A total of 723 individuals completed the survey. Participants included a variety of stakeholders, including IT executives, managers, front-line IT professionals, and others representing a wide range of company sizes and industry verticals.

 

Dell KACE Delivers Comprehensive Anypoint Systems Management
The award-wining Dell KACE systems management appliances provide comprehensive, easy-to-use and affordable solutions for securing and maintaining critical IT assets. Only Dell ESM delivers endpoint systems management capabilities in an appliance-based architecture that simplifies deployment and ensures fast time to value. Dell KACE also provides best-of-class systems management capabilities as part of Dell’s Enterprise Mobility Managementsolution. For more information, visit www.dell.com/kace.

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

Introducing the Microsoft Migration Accelerator for Azure

September 4, 2014 Comments off

Announcing the limited preview of the Migration Accelerator (MA), for Azure. Spawned from the technology of Microsoft’s InMage acquisition announced July 11th  the MA is designed to seamlessly migrate physical, VMware, AWS and Hyper-V workloads into Azure.  It automates all aspects of migration including discovery of source workloads, remote agent installation, network adaptation and endpoint configuration. With MA, transitions into Azure can occur in mere minutes!

MA changes the cloud migration paradigm by offering:

  • Heterogeneity:  With MA you can migrate workloads running on a broad range of platforms such as VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Amazon Web Services and/or Physical servers within your environment. MA can support workloads running on Windows Server 2008 R2 sp1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems.
  • Simple, Automated Migration:  The MA portal allows you to automatically discover your enterprise workloads, remotely from the cloud.  With few clicks you can configure end-to-end migration scenarios.  MA allows you to test your workload in the cloud without impacting the existing on premise production workload, offering the ability to validate workload functionality before a cutover is performed.
  • Migrate Multi-tier Applications: MA boasts the unique ability to migrate multi-tier production system with application level consistency, orchestrated across tiers. This ensures multi-tier applications run the same in Azure, as they ran at the source. Application startup order is even honored, without the need for any manual configuration.
  • Continuous Replication, Least Cutover Time: MA for Azure provides full-system replication including the OS and application data.  This continuous replication and in-memory change tracking reduces the cutover time to mere minutes, minimizing impact to production workloads.

How MA works

MA uses multiple components to orchestrate your migration project as shown below:

MA1

  1. Mobility Service: A light weight (guest based) centrally deployed agent which gets installed on source servers (on-premises physical or virtual) to be migrated to the target virtual machines on Azure.  It is responsible for real time data capture and synchronization of the selected volumes of source servers to target servers.
  2. Process Server (PS): A physical or virtual server that is installed on premise. It facilitates the communication between the Mobility Service and target virtual machines in Azure. It provides caching, queuing, compression, encryption and bandwidth management.
  3. Master Target (MT):  A target for replicating disks of on premises servers. It is installed within a dedicated Azure VM in your Azure subscription.  Disks are attached to the MT to maintain duplicate copies.
  4. Configuration Server (CS): Manages the communication between the Master Target and the MA Portal. It is installed on a dedicated Azure VM in your Azure subscription. Regular synchronization occurs between the CS and MA Portal.
  5. MA Portal: It is a multitenant portal by which you can discover, configure protection and migrate your on premise workloads into Azure.

MA automates all critical processes required to migrate a source workload within an Enterprise into Azure Cloud. It can discover on premise workloads running in ESX/Hyper-V, AWS or physical servers. The workloads are discovered using a Process Server which is connected to MA portal. The discovered instances are listed in MA portal as shown below:

MA2

You can choose particular instance(s) from the discovered list of workload for migration. The next step is to install the Mobility Service (agent) on the source servers. This can be remotely orchestrated from the MA portal by choosing ‘Install Mobility Service’ option as shown below:

MA3

After installing the Mobility Service, you can configure replication for selected servers by choosing the Protect option.  MA uses the configuration details garnered from the discovery process for the protected source servers to determine and provision the most suitable sizing for the environment within Azure. In addition, the target VHDs are provisioned on the Master Target. Once replication is setup, synchronization of the on premise server disk to the target VHD in the Azure cloud begins.

Now, that you have configured the initial sync, wait to ensure the initial replication is complete. After initial replication, select the Migration option from the Cloud Services menu.

MA4

From the list of protected servers that appear under Protected Application, select the “protection plan” or list of assets you wish to migrate.

MA5

Once you choose a protection plan it will appear under Migration > Selected Hosts. Click Migrate to start the migration process.

MA6

You can now monitor the progress of migration under Migration Scenarios > Migration Status.

MA7

After successful migration, Virtual Machines are created in Azure Cloud.  You can now logon to the migrated VMs to validate if the running instances on the cloud is identical to your source.

Summary

In summary, MA offers an unprecedented level of automation to provide seamless migrations of heterogeneous assets, into Azure.

Key Highlights:

  • Automated asset discovery and migration – MA portal orchestrates the discovery and migration of workloads from a single pane of glass.
  • Migration cutovers to Azure in minutes – continuous replication and in-memory change tracking significantly reduce cutover time.
  • Self-provisioned target Azure VM’s – Target VMs are dormant during synchronization saving compute cost and are then automatically provisioned during cutover.
  • Heterogeneous platform support – support for broad range of environments and platforms.
  • Continuous replication – lightweight agents on the source servers continuously replicate all changes to target ensuring near zero downtime during migrations.
  • Multi-tier application support – migrate your multi-tier production system with application level consistency orchestrated across tiers.
  • Target VM Network and Endpoint Adaptation – support for automated network adaptation and endpoint reconfiguration.
  • Integrated compression, encryption and bandwidth management.

To get started visit Microsoft Migration Accelerator and sign-up for preview.

WaterField Designs Unveils Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Cases

June 24, 2014 Comments off

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) June 24, 2014

Waterfield Designs Surface Pro 3 CaseWaterField Designs, an innovative maker of custom laptop sleeves, and designer bags and cases for digital gear, unveils four new custom Microsoft Pro 3 cases: two protective sleeves—the SleeveCase ™ and the Outback Sleeve—and two tablet and accessory cases that can be converted into minimalist shoulder bags—the Travel Express and the Outback Solo.

“We’re happy to support Surface Pro users with four carrying options so that they can choose the one that best fits their lifestyle,” explained company owner, Gary Waterfield. “Our Surface Pro cases have done well in the past. The new Pro 3 model is even more impressive, and over the last few months customers have emailed specifics about what cases they’d like.”

Surface Pro 3 SleeveCase: A water-resistant, black ballistic nylon shell envelops shock-absorbing neoprene for ultimate protection. Two custom sizes: one fits just the Surface Pro 3 and the other fits the tablet with the Type Cover attached. Choices include three trim colors, horizontal or vertical orientation, and add-on options including a lightly padded flap closure, d-rings and a strap, and a Piggyback accessory pouch. TSA-friendly.

Surface Pro 3 Outback Sleeve: Same excellent protection as the WaterField SleeveCase. A brown, waxed-canvas shell and grizzly or chocolate leather trim combine for a TSA-friendly sleeve. Two custom sizes: one fits just the Surface Pro 3 and the other fits the tablet with the Type Cover attached. Choices include a horizontal or vertical orientation, and add-on options including a lightly padded flap closure, d-rings and a strap, and a Piggyback accessory pouch; TSA-friendly.

Surface Pro 3 Travel Express: This grab-and-go case includes a custom-sized pocket for the Surface Pro 3 plus space for additional necessities. Features include scratch-free interior pockets, foam lining, an impact-resistant plastic insert, and an optional strap. Made from water-resistant black ballistic nylon with a bold stripe in a choice of seven colors.

Surface Pro 3 Outback Solo: Two layers of protection—high-grade neoprene enveloped in highly water-resistant, tan waxed canvas. An offset, distressed leather flap secures contents with a firm magnetic closure and lends the bag a vintage look. Two front pockets fit a smartphone and necessities like a charger, wallet and keys. An optional strap transforms the Surface Pro 3 case into a svelte, minimalist over-the-shoulder bag.

Pricing & Availability 

SleeveCase™— 
Price: $49. Size: 16 fits Surface Pro 3 ‘naked’ and size 17 fits Surface Pro 3 with Type Cover. Color: Black with trim in lead checkered Indium, or brown or black leather (+$10). Options—Flap: $15. D-rings only: $5. Simple Strap: $12. Suspension Shoulder Strap: $22. Piggyback accessory pouch: $25-$27. Pre-order now. Ships July 7, 2014.

Outback Sleeve™— 
Price: $59. Sizes: 16 fits Surface Pro 3 ‘naked’ and size 17 fits Surface Pro 3 with Type Cover. Color: Tan waxed canvas with trim in grizzly or chocolate full-grain leather. Options—Flap: $20. D-rings only: $8. Simple Strap: $14. Suspension Shoulder Strap: $24. Piggyback accessory pouch: $30. Pre-order now. Ships July 7, 2014.

Travel Express—
Price: $79. One size. Color: black ballistic nylon with stripe in black, copper, flame, green, pearl, pine, or brown leather (+$10). Options—Simple Strap: $14. Suspension Shoulder Strap: $24. Pre-order now. Ships July 7, 2014.

Outback Solo™— 
Price: $109. One size. Color: Tan waxed canvas with chocolate leather flap.
Options—Shoulder strap: $19. Pre-order now. Ships July 14, 2014.

About WaterField Designs
WaterField Designs manufactures custom-fitted, high-quality cases and bags for a full-range of laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming devices, and other digital gear. All products are manufactured to exacting standards entirely in San Francisco. More information is available at the company website under “Our Story.”

harmon.ie Integrates Office for iPad, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite

May 7, 2014 Comments off

Harmon.ieBARCELONA, BOOTH #44 — May 7, 2014 – Enterprise mobile collaboration leader, harmon.ie, today announced the full integration of Office for iPad, OneDrive for Business and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite into its enterprise mobile collaboration hub to give mobile workers a more efficient way to work and collaborate while on the go.

“One of the keys to successful adoption of enterprise collaboration software is seamless integration into the workflows that people follow to get their jobs done. With the rise of mobile device usage, integration is more important than ever, as navigating multiple applications on phones and tablets can be complicated and frustrating,” said Alan Lepofsky, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research.

While the iPad is undeniably the most popular mobile tablet for business, the complicated user experience has stunted user adoption as business users were forced to make due with unfamiliar, third-party Office substitutes for their go-to enterprise tools. Until now, iPad users were forced to spend time focusing on Office compatibility rather than the work they had to get done.

Office for iPad, OneDrive for Business and the Enterprise Mobility Suite are integral pieces of a disconnected mobile puzzle as business users toggle in and out of Microsoft’s growing array of apps and services. harmon.ie combines the depth and familiarity of all of Microsoft’s collaboration tools and business apps into a cohesive, easy-to-use, single-screen experience – making the iPad an effective business tool. Offering the only single-screen experience of Microsoft enterprise collaboration tools, harmon.ie now gives mobile workers an efficient and secure way to work on projects from the road as well as share and collaborate with colleagues

“Microsoft has officially sanctioned the iPad as a work tool – marking a monumental shift for the mobile enterprise and an overall win for user experience,” noted Yaacov Cohen, CEO of harmon.ie. “Adding the last piece of our integrated mobile work apps suite, the latest integrations with Office for iPad, OneDrive and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite give workers the tools they rely upon daily, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, directly from the iPad in the secure, single-screen experience they need to get work done.”

These integrations are the latest additions to the vast collection of business tools unified into a single-screen experience in the harmon.ie Mobile app, which was recently awarded a prestigious Best App Award at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014. Certified by all leading mobile device management (MDM) vendors, harmon.ie provides unmatched collaboration across all of the Microsoft document and social tools (e.g., Office 365, SharePoint, Lync, OneDrive, Yammer, email, phone) on any platform – desktop, mobile, and cloud. harmon.ie Mobile invokes and closes the required apps within a single-screen experience to support the specific work task at hand – users no longer need to open an app and try to find the right resource to create, edit, share or collaborate.

The Office for iPad, OneDrive and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite integrations are available immediately on the harmon.ie Mobile app.

About harmon.ie

harmon.ie empowers the social collaboration workforce by delivering the single-screen experience today’s mobile enterprises and tech-saturated users demand. Giving companies a way to securely support their employees’ changing work dynamic, harmon.ie now delivers a seamless user experience anytime, anywhere and on any device. An established global company, harmon.ie combines the power of the top social and collaboration platforms – including IBM, Microsoft and Yammer – to help its thousands of customers around the globe achieve the promise of the mobile enterprise.

Overwhelming Majority of IT Professionals Still Running Windows XP As End-of-Life Nears (Survey Results)

December 18, 2013 7 comments

20131029-102655.jpgAUSTIN, Texas – December 18, 2013Spiceworks, the vertical network for IT, today announced the results of a new report exploring the plans, considerations and issues IT professionals are addressing as Windows XP end-of-life (EOL) nears. The study, “Getting Over Your XP,” revealed that 76 percent of IT professionals run Windows XP on some devices today, and of those, 36 percent will leave Windows XP on at least one device as the operating system EOLs. The independent study was sponsored by CDW, a provider of integrated information technology solutions.

“The data clearly illustrates how prevalent Windows XP remains 12 years after its initial release,” said Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT program manager at Spiceworks. “The next four months will be a busy time for the majority of IT professionals migrating XP-based systems and for the vendors who can provide professional services and support for resource-strained IT departments.”

Survey highlights include:

IT professionals clearly favor a migration to Windows 7

  • Ninety-six percent of IT professionals said they’re running Windows 7 on their network today compared to 42 percent running Windows 8 or 8.1, and 30 percent running Apple’s OS X.
  • Of those IT professionals who still run Windows XP on company desktops and/or laptops, 49 percent plan to upgrade at least some of their devices to Windows 7, while seven percent of IT professionals plan to upgrade to Windows 8 or 8.1.
  • Forty-eight percent of the IT professionals who still run Windows XP on company desktops and/or laptops plan to decommission some of these devices and purchase new Windows 7-based machines. Twelve percent plan to decommission and purchase Windows 8 or 8.1-based devices.
  • Seventy-four percent of IT professionals cited the importance of “maintaining a similar user experience” as the primary reason why they’re planning to upgrade to Windows 7-based devices.

IT professionals expect bumps along the migration road

  • When IT professionals were asked why they haven’t already migrated their company’s XP devices, 55 percent cited a lack of budget, 39 percent referenced a lack of time, and 31 percent said they didn’t have the resources needed.
  • Sixty-eight and 59 percent of respondents have already started the process of upgrading device operating systems or purchasing entirely new devices respectively.
  • Seventy-four percent of respondents are “somewhat,” “very” or “extremely” confident their XP migration plan will work, while 26 percent are “not very” or “not at all” confident in their plans.

“Organizations currently maintaining PCs on Windows XP need to understand that they will put their networks and data at high and increasing risk if they continue to use it after Microsoft discontinues support in April,” said Scott DeTota, senior director, product and partner management, CDW. “Upgrading to a more current version of Windows, though, also brings the benefit of newer, more powerful functionalities as well as improved security and productivity. CDW is prepared to help our customers work through the decisions they need to make and help them capture the benefits of upgrading their systems.”

Methodology

The survey was conducted in October 2013 and included more than 1300 respondents. Eighty-five percent of respondents were from North America and 15 percent from EMEA. Respondents represented a variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, education, government, finance and IT service providers.

About Spiceworks Voice of IT

The Spiceworks Voice of IT market insights program publishes statistics, trends and opinions collected from IT professionals worldwide. More than 620,000 IT professionals in over 100 countries have joined the program to share information and feedback on the technology issues important to them.

About Spiceworks

Spiceworks is the vertical network for IT more than 4 million IT professionals use to connect with one another and over 2,700 technology brands. The company simplifies how IT professionals discover, buy and manage more than $500 billion in technology products and services each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Spiceworks is backed by Adams Street Partners, Tenaya Capital, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Shasta Ventures and Austin Ventures.

For more information visit http://www.spiceworks.com.
Follow Spiceworks on Twitter: http://twitter.com/spiceworks and connect with Spiceworks on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Spiceworks.

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