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PC Modernization is Essential to the Future of Work, Study Finds

What’s New: In this unprecedented time of change, many organizations are faced with supporting a newly remote workforce, and embracing the right technology is more critical than ever to best support that employee base.  In October 2019, Intel commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the current and potential future states of PC procurement and management. The study, entitled “How PCs Will Drive the Future of Work,” concluded that improving PC performance to enable increased productivity was a top business priority, and Forrester has confirmed the current environment amplifies the findings.

“PC modernization is not only vital to employee productivity, but also employee engagement. Traditionally those vectors have been at odds with the level of security you can provide. This is even more true today as employees are looking for more flexibility in where they work from, how they connect to the network, and how they rely on applications and data that may be hosted in the cloud. Intel is creating the platform that empowers every employee’s greatest contribution, without sacrificing performance or security.”
– Michael Nordquist, director of Strategic Planning and Architecture, Business Client Platforms at Intel

What the Study Says: In today’s increasingly remote world, PC management and remote workforce support has become one of the biggest topics on IT decision- maker minds. However, IT departments are struggling to maintain a secure environment for devices while simultaneously meeting employee expectations.

As part of the study, Forrester surveyed 635 IT decision-makers (ITDMs) across industries in the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Forrester found that companies are realizing the value of supporting employees by improving PC performance and want to invest accordingly. Yet they are struggling to operationalize the tactics they know will drive employee experience and productivity. Key findings include:

  • Improving the performance of PCs to enable increased productivity is the top priority for businesses in 2020. Eighty-seven percent of respondents see the PC as central to their businesses and recognize that supporting a secure and efficient PC environment is crucial for a successful strategy. Sixty-seven percent of enterprises and mid-market companies plan on investing more in PCs in 2020, compared with 2019.
  • IT teams often spend too much time reacting to device issues, rather than proactively creating better employee experiences. IT teams are still struggling to manage refresh cycles and maintain secure environments. Fifty-one percent of ITDMs revealed that employees often express displeasure to their IT teams regarding their PCs. Inconsistent and inconvenient PC updates, which inevitably disrupt employees’ daily work, negatively affect employee productivity and experiences. Only 29 percent of ITDMs are looking into alternative services like device-as-a-service (DaaS) to effectively mitigate these challenges.
  • Most companies see PC refresh as an important driver of employee productivity and endpoint security. Ninety-one percent agreed that PC refresh is a crucial component to ensuring employees have the most secure tools and resources available to keep their work and company data private. Equipping employees with powerful, more secure PCs helps allow leadership to offer employees the opportunity to take advantage of different work environments or work/life streams without risking vulnerability. Eighty-five percent of information technology decision-makers noted that their company leadership understands the links among PC refresh, employee experience and productivity, however they haven’t efficiently been able to act on these with only 36% of ITDMs undergoing a PC refresh every two years or less.

Why It’s Important: By shifting their focus to improving PC performance (particularly when supporting a newly remote workforce), businesses are recognizing that they will be able to improve not only employee productivity, but also increase levels of employee engagement. Consistently being engaged and motivated to accomplish work tasks due to superior technology is not only good for productivity, but also promotes higher-quality work. This realization is driving more businesses to invest in cloud-based device management with higher-performing, more secure PCs. More specifically, 56 percent of ITDMs are investing in cloud-based device management, while 55 percent are prioritizing more secure devices and 48 percent are investing in higher-performing, faster chips. The PC is still the tool of choice when employees want to focus and get work done. Forrester’s findings are beneficial in helping IT departments not only manage through the COVID-19 crisis, but also put the right pieces in place for an increasingly remote workforce in the future.

More context: How PCs Will Drive the Future of Work (Study) | How PCs Drive the Future of Work (Blog) | Client Computing at Intel

Intel Forrester PC Refresh Infographic
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