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Conclusion: Organisations that have made a move to Google in an effort to reduce their reliance on the incumbent Microsoft Office Suite have found that migrating from Microsoft involves far more than just human change management. Technological linkages with the Office desktop client(s) hold back organisations’ transfer to the Cloud. Before implementing Cloud-based productivity tools, an organisation should examine just how ‘sticky’ Microsoft Office is within their organisation, and should plan on how to become ‘unstuck’.

Conclusion: The concept of work context provides a framework to examine how staff interact with technology, information and their environment when performing different tasks. Without considering work context, mobility strategies can become overly focused on a single delivery channel for mobility – usually handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones – and miss other opportunities.

Conclusion: IT managers and purchasing officers need to be aware of recent changes in Microsoft’s licensing and evolving interpretations of licensing terms, or face surprises during true up and licensing negotiations that Microsoft will use to its advantage.

Conclusion: A mobility strategy is not simply a broad set of statements and visions for how mobility can be used in enterprise. While it must be connected to the broad vision statements of the enterprise, a mobility strategy must identify specific aspects of the organisation where it can deliver a multiplying (not just incremental) impact on the business. Furthermore, the strategy needs to contain specific, achievable actions that will lead to the delivery of this value. This research note concludes the “Coping with Mobility” series by bringing all aspects previously discussed into a workable strategy for mobility.

Conclusion: For desktop fleets, Windows 8 offers few benefits to enterprises over Windows 7 and presents a number of additional challenges. However, its arrival will place more pressure on organisations still using XP to migrate. IBRS recommends organisation standardise on Windows 7 rather than Windows 8 for enterprise desktops.

Conclusion: Microsoft licensing continues to be a major point of confusion and disruption to many IT groups, and procurement managers. Understanding the principles underlying Microsoft’s licensing will go a long way to optimising procurement during negotiations and avoiding licensing errors.

Conclusion: IBRS has identified three broad approaches to Microsoft Office upgrades. In this research, we examine the benefits and challenges of each approach, and key considerations for planning. Organisations with more than 750 seats should avoid ad hoc Office deployments and take time to get their migration strategy in place, or risk creating a “demand feedback loop” that will result in higher costs and dissatisfaction with the IT department.

Conclusion: Operational data is the heart of a business in the information age. Without operational data the organisation would cease to function, irrespective of the software and hardware infrastructure that is in place. Hence the quality of data is a logical starting point for identifying opportunities to improve business operations. When used in combination with top-down value chain analysis, a quality assessment and categorisation of data can be used to identify essential system functionality, to identify pockets of obsolete functionality, and to discover sets of unreliable or redundant data.

Conclusion: Recent Standish Group research1 has shown that project failure rates for IT-based projects have risen since from 19% in 2006 to 24% in 2009. Running projects successfully has become more challenging in recent times as the lingering effects of the GFC tempt project participants to cut corners. Strengthening methodology observance and project governance arrangements may result in some improvements in success rates. However, IBRS believes that greater benefit can be achieved by transcending such mechanistic approaches. We advise a holistic re-examination of candidate projects using our 6C2 approach, then re-configuring those projects where necessary to improve their chances of success.

 Conclusion: CIOs and IT operations managers must avoid the risk of succumbing to green fatigue. Greenwashing is rampant, with every IT vendor promoting its products as "green." Most IT publications have at least one Green IT focused section. At the same time organisations are continuing their focus on cost reduction, often with IT under the magnifying glass. In these circumstances, it is easy for Green IT to be given lip service only while everybody gets on with the "real work". This must not happen. The biggest green issue for IT is how to reduce the energy consumption of the data centre. Organisations should first focus on reducing the energy consumption in their data centre: not only does it bring a significant green benefit but it saves money.

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