Remember the days when employees had no choice about their PCs and other technology tools? Once mobile devices and sleek, attractive notebooks hit the consumer market, employees started demanding comparable technology. Users complained that dated, bulky computers hurt their productivity and failed to meet all their needs. And, if they couldn’t get “cool” devices from their employers, they started bringing their own to work.
If you work in enterprise IT, this can make you crazy, as I discussed in a recent post. That’s one of the reasons I’m really looking forward to seeing how consumers and enterprises take to Microsoft Windows 8. Boasting a variety of benefits for both IT professionals and end users, Windows 8 is expected to arrive this October and bridge the divide.
How can Windows 8 help organizations address the consumerization of IT?
For one, Microsoft is targeting Windows 8 at consumers—unlike its traditional focus—says Aaron Suzuki, CEO of IT consulting firm Prowess. “Windows 8 is a consumer play and Microsoft is relying on consumers to embrace Windows 8 use on tablets or smartphones to keep Google and Apple at bay, and then spill over into the enterprise as part of the BYOD (bring your own device) movement,” Suzuki said in a recent PCWorld article.
Touch Computing and UI Consistency
With Windows 8, Microsoft promises greater ease of use than current mobile operating systems. It starts with edge-to-edge touch support on the user interface (UI). Users running Windows 8 on a tablet will enjoy touch responsiveness to the very edges of their screens, so they can select icons or apps located in a corner or easily interact with the Windows 8 Charms Bar. The OS also includes “fuzzy hit targeting,” which compensates for the fact that fingers are less precise than pens or mice.
But what may be most appealing to end users is the uniformity of Windows 8 across all their devices. Unlike iOs and OS X, which have very different interfaces and user experiences, Windows 8 on a tablet isn’t a significant departure from Windows 8 on a laptop or smartphone. Users will be able to work on each of their devices with the same ease, rather than constantly adjusting as they switch hardware.
And, of course, tablets have an innate “cool factor” that really resonates with end users. They get to work on an innovative and cutting-edge mobile device that also has the productivity that comes with a laptop, which is good news for your business.
Life Gets Easier for Your IT Department
Why do your IT workers always seem to resist consumerization? To start, it makes administering support a nightmare. Apple and Android operating systems, with specs and solutions that differ from device to device, give your IT department a lot of work to do when technical problems arise, and most of it isn’t easy.
Enter Windows 8. It’s manageable just like any other Windows OS right out of the box, with a consistent experience across every device it’s installed on so IT analysts can use the same fixes on a tablet they apply to laptops. Most organizations already support Windows on PC, so it makes sense to extend that support to tablets and upgrade it to Windows 8.
And with Windows 8 Enterprise, IT gets even more to work with―from app license management, to Windows Intune for advanced controls and support. By leveraging SkyDrive, IT can also administer support through the cloud, making it easier to deliver remote help. Generally speaking, the learning curve for IT support will be very low with Windows 8.
Stay tuned for more information about Windows 8 benefits for enterprise IT in an upcoming post.
What operating system does your organization work on? Will be you upgrading to Windows 8 this fall? Will you wait for the first service pack or do you have another plan altogether? Tell us what matters to you in an OS by commenting below.
With their increase in popularity, IT organizations are under pressure from the business to come up with a strategy for making the most of tablets across the enterprise. This Executive Insights brief explains how organizations are addressing critical concerns about deploying tablets. Discover 7 important questions to ask yourself as you start to evaluate tablets for use in your work environment, such as security, IT control, application management, and connectivity.