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The sharp increase in remote and mobile workers is spurring the fast adoption of iPads in the workplace. At the same time, public cloud computing deployments among mainstream users remain slow and steady. These are some of the other survey highlights of the latest ITIC/Sunbelt Software survey on Desktop and Infrastructure deployment trends.

No Rush to the Cloud — Yet

Users on the Move: Number of Mobile workers increases

The survey results also confirm what has been widely reported: that greater numbers and percentages of users are spending more time telecommuting, traveling and generally working outside the corporate offices.

Over half – 58 percent of businesses say that up to 25 percent of their employees work remotely; another 18 percent of respondents said that between 26 to 50 percent of their workers are remote; 11 percent said that 51 to 75 percent work outside the office and seven percent of respondents said that 76 to 100 percent of their employees work remotely. It is significant that only 7 percent of the over 400 businesses polled say that none of their workers are remote or mobile.

Apparently, IT departments are getting used to support mobile workers: just over half 52 percent of survey respondents indicated they find it just as easy to support remote employees as their local workers; however 43 percent say they find it more difficult, while the remaining seven percent are unsure.

To date only a 17 percent minority – less than two out of 10 businesses who responded to the Sunbelt/ITIC poll say their organizations have migrated any IT functions to the cloud. By contrast, 62 percent of those surveyed say their firm have not migrated any IT functions to a cloud environment; another 19 percent of companies are studying the issue but have not yet decided and the remaining two percent are “Unsure” of their firm’s cloud deployment plans.

“No compelling business reason,” was the most oft-cited reason for holding off on a cloud deployment and that was chosen by 66 percent of the respondents. Another 49 percent of survey participants indicated their organizations’ concerns about security and the need for specific guarantees to safeguard their for sensitive data is deterring cloud deployments.

Only a small five percent minority felt that a cloud deployment would be disruptive to their current network environment.

Anti-Virus software is current

The survey respondents were certain that their anti-virus software is doing the job. In a clear indication that organizations recognize the need to keep their AV packages updated, nearly eight-out-of-10 businesses – 79 percent affirmed that their AV software is current, while 17 percent indicate that the majority of their AV packages are up-to-date. Overall, less than five percent of those polled say their AV software is outdated.

Similarly, an overwhelming 77 percent of respondents reported that they’re satisfied with the ability of their firms current security packages to alert them to the presence of viruses, worms, Trojans and other malware threats. Only 16 percent of respondents expressed concern regarding the ability of their AV software to alert them to potential security breaches, while the remaining seven percent were unsure.

Desktop Management

When it comes to desktop management, 41 percent of companies use three or four different software packages to oversee crucial functions such as Remote PC monitoring; Patch and update management/deployment; malware protection; asset inventory; critical alerting; remote assistance/remote control; IT asset management reporting. Another 16 percent deploy a singular management package while 20 percent say their firms use two management packages and 12 percent were “unsure.” The remaining 12 percent indicated they do not use any management software to manage their desktops.

The chief challenges and deterrents to installing and deploying desktop management packages are: integration and interoperability which was cited by 57 percent of survey respondents and the large upfront investment costs which 47 percent say make upper management unlikely to approve the project. Nearly one-third of survey respondents cited the difficulty of quantifying TCO and ROI and the need for too much training and orientation as the biggest challenge to deploying desktop management solutions, while 28 percent say they have difficulty comparing the functionality of the various products.

Among the other Survey Highlights:

  • Over half the survey respondents – 56 percent – use a dedicated management tool to deploy their software updates, but a surprising 42 percent still manually install their software updates.
  • Nearly seven out of 10 businesses – 68 percent – say they’re satisfied with their organization’s current ability to ensure that the corporate PCs have the latest security updates & patches compared with 26 percent who replied negatively to that question.
  • Just over half – 55 percent – of those polled indicated they were satisfied with their firm’s ability to inventory the hardware assets (total number, make, model and specifications) in your environment; while 34 percent said “No” and 11 percent were “Unsure.” The ability to inventory hardware assets is one of the crucial components necessary to enable companies to ascertain TCO and ROI.
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