THE IT DEPARTMENT is often at the fore- front of an organization’s technology inno- vation — but not always. When it comes to the concept of a standard desktop — every
employee’s core install consisting of an operating
system, applications, hardware drivers and a security
suite — I T has moved at a snail’s pace.
Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT, says compa-
nies have tended to live with older software because
it works well enough for their needs and because they
don’t want to incur the expense of upgrading to the
latest releases in this era of “making do with less.”
Then there are political issues. Key users who want
to do their own thing might resist change, and IT may
not force the issue in order to avoid running afoul of in-
fluential employees in these budget-challenged times.
But now, it seems, the snail is moving a bit faster.
The use of standard desktops is becoming a best practice. In a 2010 Gartner survey of 300 IT professionals
at large companies, 50% of the respondents said they
will be locking down more corporate computers.
Creating a ‘gold standard’ desktop
version to push out to all employees
can mean lower costs, tighter security and
smoother operations. BY JOHN BRANDON