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Study: Windows 7 Adoption Among Top IT Trends

An annual survey of IT organizations found rising trends toward deploying Windows 7, desktop virtualization and unified communications solutions.

Computer Economics surveyed more than 200 IT organizations in the United States and Canada from January to April of this year. Despite a conservative spending outlook with the current economic downturn, IT organizations were willing to invest in some software technologies. Those technologies included existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and "legacy system renewal," according to the "Technology Trends 2010/2011" study by the Irvine, Calif.-based research organization.

This year, IT organizations seemed "willing to open the purse strings for investments deemed necessary, such as ERP systems and desktop upgrades, despite the prospect for limited returns," according to a released statement by Computer Economics.

About two thirds of the IT organizations surveyed had ERP systems. Half of the respondents planned to invest further in those systems or buy new ERP systems for the first time. ERP investments appear to be getting some renewal after stagnating during the recession, the report noted.

Windows 7 adoption is expected to make the biggest splash in terms of IT trends, according to Computer Economics. The report found that only three percent of IT organizations had Windows 7 installed at the start of the year. However, 31 percent of IT organizations have the funds this year to migrate to Windows 7. So, about a third of the IT organizations surveyed have moved, or plan to move, to Windows 7.

Disappointment with Windows Vista has done a lot to drive IT organization toward Windows 7, according to Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics.

"I think a lot of IT organizations have found themselves pretty far behind current technology from Microsoft," Scavo said in a telephone interview. "Probably, they're at the position of needing to do either a complete or partial desktop refresh, and it's getting a little bit long in the tooth to continue to implement XP. Windows 7 has had good uptake and response from the early adopters -- it's a rock-solid operating system. I think IT organizations are comfortable about going ahead and standardizing on Windows 7."

Windows Server continues to be the predominant server operating system among datacenters of all sizes, according to the study.

"Among small companies, 77 percent of the [datacenter] processing workload runs across Windows," Scavo said. "Among large organizations, it's still by far the dominant operating system -- 50 percent of the processing workload runs across Windows on average. There are virtually no datacenters among our 210 respondents that are not running Windows."

Adoption of desktop virtualization represents another rising trend among IT organizations, according to Computer Economics. The study found desktop virtualization in use by 15 percent of those surveyed. However, 29 percent of respondents said that they had invested in using the technology.

Computer Economics defined desktop virtualization as follows: "Hosting and centrally managing desktop instances which are deployed to individual users or running multiple instances of desktop environments on a single machine," Scavo explained.

The survey found that 27 percent of respondents had invested in unified communications technologies. Still, 40 percent of respondents planned to invest in unified communications solutions during their current fiscal year.

Computer Economics has conducted its "Technology Trends" study annually since 1990. The technologies surveyed by Computer Economics change every year, Scavo said. This year, Computer Economics measured the use of 19 IT technologies and surveyed IT spending strategies. Study participants were about equally divided among small, midsize and large organizations. Participating organizations needed to have "at least $50 million in annual revenue" to participate in the study.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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