What are some of the biggest pain points when it comes to managing business desktop PCs? Intel sought answers to this and similar questions last April as it prepared to launch its new vPro platform.
The company sponsored a survey of 200 IT professionals and 200 IT decision makers at organizations with at least 50 PCs to find out what they viewed as the biggest challenges in managing desktops.
Surprisingly, the most common complaints from end users were about the speed and performance of their machines, according to Mike Ferron-Jones, director of marketing for Intels digital office platforms division, in Hillsboro, Ore.
About half of IT decision makers and IT pros reported receiving performance complaints always or often, while 58 percent of IT decision makers and 49 percent of IT pros in the survey reported receiving complaints about speed always or often.
“The conventional wisdom is that you dont need more [PC] performance for business, but the No. 1 complaint in the survey was speed and performance issues. The phrase My system is too slow was repeated over and over again,” Ferron-Jones said.
Although its possible such complaints could reflect networking or software issues, Ferron-Jones said he believes a “significant” number of such complaints were related to the operation of individual PCs. “The responsiveness of the system isnt what theyd like it to be,” he said.
IT pros and IT decision makers did not completely agree on what the biggest challenges were in managing their organizations PCs. While IT pros gave as their top two answers the tasks of keeping PCs updated with software and dealing with user error, IT decision makers gave as their top challenges keeping PCs updated with security patches and keeping them all running and at a decent speed.
“The frequency of patch issuance, the speed with which they have to get them out in the environment and achieving saturation of the patch [continue] to be a headache for IT managers,” Ferron-Jones said.
Energy efficiency, which has been an issue for servers, is also starting to become a concern for PCs, according to the survey respondents.
Just over 80 percent of IT decision makers and 70 percent of IT pros considered energy efficiency to be an important element of their organizations desktop PC strategy. Eighty-seven percent of IT decision makers and 73 percent of IT pros said they believe that energy-efficient desktops can reduce operational costs.
“What had been a largely dont care [item] on many peoples [lists] has now started to become more of a decision factor on clients. People want [their PCs] to consume less power and they are thinking about noise and heat in the environment,” Ferron-Jones said.
All of the respondents agreed that reliability is the biggest factor in their organizations desktop PC strategy; over half of both IT decision makers and IT pros said they find PC management difficult; and over 90 percent of both groups agreed that built-in hardware support for security functions would make managing desktop PCs easier.