Once upon a time, desktop hardware purchase cycles were simple and rigid. Five-year cycles for hardware were based on the realities of leasing finances and synchronizing with operating system release cycles. Now, simplicity is a thing of the past, and that’s not necessarily bad because it gives CIOs and IT executives a legitimate opportunity to respond to two truly disruptive forces in the industry: Windows 10 and cloud technology.
Neither Windows 10 nor the Cloud are new. But there are three reasons that each (and the two together) has changed the market enough to warrant looking at new hardware. One of the changes is about how and where critical data is stored. One is about the way that users are interacting with their computers. And one is about an increasingly profound change in the very way that we go about work.
The growth of cloud storage
Cloud storage is growing for a couple of reasons:
Cloud technology is improving and IT executives are more comfortable with its reliability and security
Users want access to their data at their desks and on the road — access that is most readily made available via the Cloud
This means workstations can be ordered with smaller hard disks and higher performance to keep the overall system more responsive.
New ways of interacting with machines
Users want to have similar experiences on their business workstation and their smartphone. That desire is leading to a change in the way that users interact with their workstations. Touchscreens, multi-touch gestural-response touch pads, and high-definition displays are all increasingly found on basic business workstations so that users can have a productive, high-touch user experience.
A responsive user experience is more than a luxury when communications and collaboration are taking place within personal productivity and enterprise applications. The line between communication applications and applications for other purposes is blurring as developers respond to user demands for enterprise functionality closer to what they’re familiar with on their smartphones. The push from younger employers will increasingly drive enterprise desktop computing and the platforms used for the purpose.
Smaller, faster storage; improved human interface technology; and the communication methods (microphones, cameras, headphone ports, and Bluetooth capabilities) to support real-time collaboration are all important capabilities required for employees to make full use of Windows 10 and cloud technology.
Putting them on user desktops will require advanced workstations that can come into the organization via a new, shortened, hardware purchasing cycle.