Although the pandemic has helped boost PC sales, IT departments must now look to the future of work and how end-user computing will enable employees to stay productive regardless of whether they work in an office or at home.
At the start of the global crisis of Covid-19, computer manufacturers struggled to keep up with the demand for new hardware. Families needed computers for home education while office workers needed laptops to work from home. Moreover, the semiconductor industry has suffered from a global shortage of chips.
The TechTarget / Computer Weekly IT Priorities 2022 The survey found that, in response to the pandemic, 40% of the 158 IT professionals surveyed said they have made digital workplaces, including end-user computing, a priority. Given that remote work places more emphasis on understanding how to ensure employees can work effectively at home, a fifth of IT professionals surveyed said they also made IT asset management a priority.
But Gartner’s latest PC market share data shows that the successful deployment of Covid-19 vaccination programs and chip shortages have contributed to the decline in PC sales. Discussing the shift in demand, Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner, said: “Demand for personal computers has remained strong, driven by the economic recovery in key regions and the return of some workers to offices.
However, PC growth was concentrated in the desktop PC segment as the semiconductor shortage continued to restrict laptop shipments. This component shortage is expected to continue until the first half of 2022.”
Despite this shortcoming, the mobile update in 2022, which covers smartphones, tablets and laptops, is the fourth most popular project among IT professionals who participated in TechTarget / Computer Weekly IT Priorities 2022 survey.
The availability of Windows 11 will likely be part of the decision-making process, as IT departments look to update their desktop and laptop real estate. As Computer Weekly previously reported, older devices that lack the TPM 2.0 cipher module are not compatible with Windows 11. Although the Windows 10 end of support date is October 14, 2025, IT departments will need to ensure ownership of their existing computers It meets the minimum specifications for the new version of Windows, which will lead to your purchasing decisions.
From a desktop IT management perspective, Windows 11 is a beast akin to Windows 10. In a recent blog post, Dale Vile, founder of analyst group Freeform Dynamics, wrote: “Microsoft is quietly ignoring the idea of a lighter, simpler desktop operating system option, indicating the hype around Windows 11 to compound the status quo. It means more of the same, and administrators, security teams, and finance managers continue to live with costs associated with complexity and distractions.”
But while Windows11 requires IT end-user computing management processes similar to Windows 10, the pandemic has led to an explosion in the use of video conferencing, unified communications, and social media tools for enterprises. Providing team collaboration is a top priority for IT decision makers, and the PC industry has recognized that collaboration support tools are a key aspect of desktop productivity, which means that new laptops are now equipped with features like improved noise-cancelling microphones and webcams.
Canalys Research Analyst, Trang Pham, said: “While Western Europe has been ahead of most of its peers in operational digitization, especially when it comes to hybrid work, there is a definite need for faster and better-spec hardware, as companies seem to be not only to protect themselves from future disruptions, but Also start looking seriously at ESG [environmental, social and corporate governance] Objectives. “