New tools or new toys

13-03-2007 | |

When faced with any upgrade, new tool, new operating system, new device, how do you determine its real benefit to your organization?

When faced with any upgrade, new tool, new operating system, new device, how do you determine its real benefit to your organization?

For this discussion, let’s look at the recent Microsoft™ Windows Vista and Office 2007. Windows Vista, was first introduced as the Longhorn client in 2003, receiving its name in July of 2005 when released as Beta.

It was available for more general release in September 2006, followed by two releases in November (manufacturing and enterprise) and for home use in January of 2007.

It promises to provide a strong return on investment – drawing companies to it with such features as increased security, mobility and networking enhancements, and improvements in manageability.

So how many have jumped?

There is lots of excitement behind the great graphics, easier navigation, along with better integration with Office and ERP through enhanced user controls.

Did you move? Microsoft expects that its channel will generate 70 billion dollars on Vista-related product and service sales this year. They will be knocking at your door.

But whether it’s Vista – a new cell phone – the latest games, whatever, how do you decide?

Prior to any system, application or technology upgrade, you really should look at not just the instant gratification of something new or the promise of higher levels of productivity, but at the cost to maintain.

Move or not?

As part of this evaluation ask yourself: What is it you want to do? What happens if you do it? What’s the risk of doing nothing?

I’m not suggesting a long drawn out process, but I am suggesting that starting a project or implementing a new tool should be well thought out before hand. We run into a lot of situations where the "new toy" was adopted for 1 or 2 individuals, and the cost or effort to maintain it by the organisation, or the rollout to the rest that could have benefited – was never managed.

Before the benefit could be realised the new toy folks are now in need of "new toy #2".

For new Toys to be new Tools, there must be enough of an increase in productivity (defined by results less costs), to cover the effort to change AND the effort to manage – which includes adoption.

If your applications are strictly Microsoft based and you need a new stand alone desktop / laptop – you can start using Microsoft Vista now! Otherwise Service Pack 1, which plans on shipping second half 2007, promises to have more third party ISV applications compatible.

I’d recommend waiting to ensure compatibility with all your existing "toys" and hardware.


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