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The Traditional Model

Traditionally, users have accessed corporate and line-of-business applications which sit on individual PC’s or laptops or on centralised servers based in the office.

This situation often leads to the following problems, which lead to inefficiency, expense and wasted staff time:

- outdated and inconsistent applications used by employees

- confused or inadequate licensing of applications being used

- applications running poorly on outdated computers and servers with operating systems or applications no longer being supported by the application supplier

- significant issues due to inadequate or badly configured Anti-Virus software

- access to applications or data interrupted by computer crashes after software corruption or hardware failure

- access to computers being restricted out of office hours unless laptops are taken out of the security of the office, leading to sensitive corporate data being significantly at risk to loss by theft or damage or to unauthorised access and copying

- inadequate back-up procedures failing to recover access to applications rapidly enough to avoid potentially disastrous consequences in terms of customer service and loss of business revenues

The cost of continually addressing these day-to-day issues has been estimated as one full-time equivalent IT staff member for every 50 users, but many smaller businesses would probably feel that the cost and time involved could be this much even for a significantly smaller number of busy users.

In addition to these frequent issues experienced with existing IT systems, many businesses are now faced with an ultimately inevitable need to migrate to the new Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 operating software, with previous versions outdated and increasingly unsupported.  In many cases such migration, if done traditionally, would require significant hardware expenditure on more powerful PC’s and servers to cope with the running of these new operating systems.

Businesses face expensive, time-consuming hardware and software roll-out plans, which, depending on the number of users could run to many months.  It is generally accepted that the need for such migrations typically occurs in 4-year cycles but with advances in technology being rapid it is getting harder to predict and plan for forthcoming change.

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So what’s the answer?