Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

Summary: The analysts at Gartner Inc. are warning that business migrations from Windows XP and Windows 2000 to Windows 7 in the next couple of years could create budgetary and resource burdens on IT shops.

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The analysts at Gartner Inc. are warning that business migrations from Windows XP and Windows 2000 to Windows 7 in the next couple of years could create budgetary and resource burdens on IT shops.

From 2011 to 2012, "(d)emand for highly qualified Windows 7 migration IT personnel will exceed supply, leading to higher service rates," Gartner representatives said in an August 26 press release.

With most IT shops not really starting their Windows 7 migrations until the fourth quarter of 2010 at the earliest -- and with PC hardware replacement cycles running typically at every four to five years -- "most organizations will not be able to migrate to Windows 7 through usual planned hardware refresh before support for Windows XP ends" in 2014, Gartner is claiming.

As a result, IT shops need to accelerate their migration plans, Gartner analysts said. And that could prove to be pricey.

"Based on an accelerated upgrade, we expect that the proportion of the budget spent on PCs will need to increase between 20 percent as a best-case scenario and 60 percent at worst in 2011 and 2012,"  Steve Kleynhans, Gartner Research Vice President, is quoted as saying. Assuming that PCs account for 15 percent of a typical IT budget, this means that this percentage will increase to 18 percent (best case) and 24 percent (worst case) which could have a profound effect on IT spending and on funding for associated projects during both those years."

For organizations that decide to replace all their PCs with Windows 7 ones, Gartner is estimating that for a 10,000-PC enterprise shop, the migration cost per PC will be between $1,205 and $1,999, depending on how well-managed the environment is. For a 10,000-PC shop where existing PCs are upgraded to run Windows 7, the migration cost per PC will be between $1,274 and $2,069, depending on how well-managed the PC environment is, according to Gartner.

Gartner has more Windows 7 migration data in its $195 report entitled "“Prepare for Your Windows 7 Migration Crunch."

I asked Microsoft officials whether they agreed with these estimates and was told the company had no comment.

Do these estimated migration costs sound right? Should they be balanced against cost savings around security/patching, etc.? And are migrations from XP and Windows 2000 really going to take four-plus years if they aren't expedited, in your view?

Topics: Software, CXO, Hardware, IT Priorities, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I don't see it.

    We still have a few Win2K machines in service, although only a handful. I have never understood the need to replace every machine at once just so that every user is on the same platform. Instead, we replace our systems on a regular cycle of about every 4 years. About half of our users are therefore still on XP, but the number is decreasing daily as we roll out this years new systems. In two years, XP will be like 2K is today, only running on a few niche machines.

    Just curious, buy who cares about support coming to an end?
    itpro_z
    • Who cares about support ending?

      Hi. I would guess folks who want security patches might care about the final end of support date.... MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Security patches

        @Mary Jo Foley

        Mary Jo, security patches are important for front line machines, not so much for niche machines. I still have one Win98SE machine running in our HR dept. All it does is run a training app that they have not upgraded. It does not go on the internet, nor does it have access to any of our servers. Support ended for Win98 many years ago, yet I have no qualms about it still running in a very limited role.

        Likewise, our Win2K machines are also used in a limited capacity. In another two years (2012) we will be in the same position with XP, and by 2014 XP will be all but gone. Even the most die hard holdouts will surely have moved on by then, as old hardware does not last forever.
        itpro_z
      • So.. One down, 9,999 to go???

        @itpro_z

        Way to go itpro_z.. You made the case for 1 out of 10,000... You go girl!!!!

        I think we are talking about 10,000 "end user" PCs... That need internet, MS Office, a few other programs, oh and yes, almost forgot... SECURITY!!!!

        Really??? You make the case for a non-network kiosk??? Cus all sorts of companies run 10,000 kiosks??? In thier HR department??? And we all know that none of them need to be upgraded... Sheesh.. What a tool...
        i8thecat
    • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

      @itpro_z Umm, companies who can't afford a expensive operating system.
      ZackCDLVI
      • Just wait until microsoft only supports operating systems for 4 years at...

        @Zc456 time everyone will have to upgrade every 4 years at the least IT will become more expensive than ever. I think they are just trying to put small business out of business.
        dougogd@...
    • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

      @itpro_z

      The real thing driving this migration is the new security features in Windows 7. With that AND the latest version of Symantec (widely used in corporate arenas) antivirus software?

      Your machines are pretty much bulletproof! Add NIS to that to replace Norton Antivirus? Tank-quality armor!
      Lerianis10
      • I agree, to some extent

        @Lerianis10

        Yes, Windows 7 (and Vista, for that matter) is a huge improvement over XP, not only in security but also in stability and usability. I will withhold my opinion on the new Symantec av, as I have just started testing it and have found a few issues.

        Every operation is different, but out budget was flat this year, so we will not be buying as many new machines as we had hoped. The result: Some of our XP systems will need to last a bit longer. Yes, XP is old and tired, but we do know how to support it and can certainly keep it running for awhile longer. My comment above is directed at the belief that everyone should be running the same OS, so every computer needs to be upgraded at the same time. I much prefer to spread out the upgrades, both from a cost and a workload point of view.
        itpro_z
      • What out for the back door I heard Microsoft boasting about...nt

        @Lerianis10 nt
        dougogd@...
      • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

        @Lerianis10 smaller netbook screens. Additionally, users will be able to british urban from it kids is from playing saint only goverment to need online always today from finance and lot of money share
        Alenmick
    • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

      @itpro_z
      dave@...
  • Gartner is Full of $#!^

    I'm sorry, but Gartner is full of it on this one unless they're ONLY considering IT departments that have been XP exclusively for the past 5 years and haven't bought new systems. But for most people, system replacements are inevitable and upgrades desirable for most IT shops.

    I'm in the middle of Windows 7 roll-outs right now. All of my mobile users are officially on Windows 7, and my desktop deployments are about 1/4 in progress. For the ones that need replacing, we're going straight to Win7 through OEM licensing, and for the existing XP/Vista licensed systems, we're volume licensing our way to Win7, which really isn't any more expensive than previous versions.

    I don't understand why every week there is claimed doom and gloom on the IT side of business deployments. IT departments that want to remain relevant will be upgrading. Those who don't, don't care either way, so no doom or gloom needed.
    GoodThings2Life
    • Well

      @GoodThings2Life

      You know how IT departments like to get shafted by management. They want the business, but are afraid to spend money. Lol!
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Apparently Gartner has not seen the memo

        @NStalnecker

        The one that we must cut the budget even further; we must do more with less; because executive management^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hdamagement must deliver stronger results to stockholders, let alone increase their bonus. WE still have to keep the business running; or else they will outsource us.
        fatman65535
      • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

        @NStalnecker There are those shops that do not have people in house that can do the upgrades. I have seen these shops and there are a lot of them.
        As the story stated these shops rely on outside help to do things like rol out new OSs. It's the shortage of these outside help that is driving up the cost. For shops who have personel that can do the job themselves the cost does not exist.
        Other people who are having problems moving to Windows 7 are those places that have a lot of in-house applications and will have to test them all on Windows 7 and if there are problems update the applications to work with Windows 7.
        These places are like our company. We make our own engineering and scientific applications. To move to a new OS we have to test and be sure that the applications work and give the rigth answers on the new OS. But we had the same cost for Windows XP and going to Windows 7 will be no different. (Skipped Vista, so we saved there.)
        sysop-dr
      • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

        @sysop-dr<br>"For shops who have personel that can do the job themselves the cost does not exist."<br>There is ALWAYS a cost. The cost of those peoples' time when they could be doing somthing else. It is called Opportunity Cost.<br><br>The costs cited in the article probably cover all the management and logistics costs associated with the cutover.<br><br>However, I do not know whether they include the amortised cost of regression testing and remediation of existing apps.
        Patanjali
    • Message has been deleted.

      Wolfie2K3
    • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

      @GoodThings2Life

      Spot on. We've been doing Vista x64 rollouts since 2008,with a few Virtual/Physical XP left for old 16 bit apps (bought in 2008 - SIGH) and niche software like Integraph (those companie are now only just realizing x64 is going away and there is a new thingie called Windows 7). All laptops are being upgraded to Windows 7, and all new/reimaged machines are being deployed with Windows 7. All x64 bit. All done inhouse over a period of two months by a young new hire. Using MDT. Hello, reality check? Is the corporate world in really such a bad state of attracting some intelligent, capable and eager IT personel who can get the job done? I don't think so. Its' more likely office politics are wasting money and the industry as whole who ha a bit of a quality crisis. Application compatibility? Test, demand that they are written properly. A well written app that worked on Windows 2007 works on Windows 7. There is a lot of crappy software out there try not to buy them and no need to let the in house devs write some more. CIO is doing that anyway? Why do you have a CIO that's burdening the company with an ever increasing technology debt? Get quality people with skills and a vision so they can do quality stuff. You'll notice that it's not that bad.
      WorkingHardInIt
  • RE: Gartner: IT shops moving to Windows 7 need a 20 to 60 percent PC budget increase

    This doesn't make sense.

    Win7 runs better on XP hardware than XP does. Lower end machines can easily run Win7. The standard desktop for an enterprise, which is a pretty basic system, is still going to be in the same pricing sweet spot as usual, but will be more powerful than whatever was purchased in the last upgrade cycle. The cost of the OS + hardware should be right in line with normal replacement costs.

    The cost of upgrade is going to be on the application side, as companies have been sticking with older versions of products as long as they run well on XP and get regular patches. Why upgrade if it works and there's no new OS pressure? This leaves a lot of organizations (mine included) having to make big jumps in application versions, or even finding new applications, to move from XP to in7. New licenses, testing to ensure it works, training on new systems, etc. A lot of these systems require beefier backends which also have expensive upgrades.

    That time & cost hit is big. Companies still reeling from the recession *want* to upgrade but don't have the fiscal reserves to commit. They'll do incremental roll outs and try to spread the costs out over months. So, yeah, I do see upgrades costing more and taking more time, but not specifically because its Win7. It would happen with any new OS after a long lull and a financial tsunami.
    wafsd
    • Ummmm, no.

      A company I've been working for has upgraded 8 machines from XP to Windows 7. Five of the eight lock up 8-10 times per day. We've been able to determine that the problem lies somewhere within Outlook as running Outlook in safe mode or disabling all COM addins seems to correct the problem. None of these machines had any problem with XP. It took around 30 man hours of tinkering to narrow the problem down to Outlook. These are all stock Dell workstations. Given this, I can honestly say that no, Windows 7 does not run better on XP hardware than XP does. If it did, we wouldn't have had problems with more than half of the machines we've upgraded.
      jasonp@...