Windows 7 migration to drive up staffing costs
Companies waiting too long to organise the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 face a shortage of skilled professionals to manage the migration, according to research from analyst firm Gartner.
The company says demand for properly qualified personnel will push up migration costs as professionals will be able to name their price for undertaking contracts.
“Microsoft will support Windows XP for four more years,” said Charles Smulders, managing vice president at Gartner. “With most migrations not starting until the fourth quarter of 2010 at the earliest, and PC hardware replacement cycles typically running at four to five years, most organisations will not be able to migrate to Windows 7 through the usual planned hardware refresh before support for Windows XP ends.”
According to Gartner, to beat the XP death knell, companies will have to either accelerate their migration process by buying new PCs with compatible drivers and BOIS installed, pay professionals to upgrade PCs that are already on their networks, or migrate some workers to hosted virtual desktops.
Whichever path IT administrators choose, they look set for a hefty bill, with Gartner predicting that buying new equipment to move to Windows 7 will push IT spending up by between 18% and 24%.
We estimate that large and mid-size organisations worldwide will migrate approximately 250 million PCs to Windows 7
Labour costs would also surge, Gartner predicted, as organisation look to take on more staff to upgrade from next year through to 2013.
“We estimate that large and mid-size organisations worldwide will migrate approximately 250 million PCs to Windows 7, during the migration timeline, so it makes sense for organisations that plan to use external services to line up service providers early,” Smulders said.
“Begin talks with suppliers now about putting in place contracts that can deliver flexible levels of resources at a fixed rate over the migration period.”