Every time a worker boots up their PC or mobile device, they interact with an operating system. Users may view technology solely in terms of hardware or everyday applications. But the operating system plays a very significant role in the quality and usefulness of their computing experience. It supports the software solutions, runs the devices, provides the security, and ensures that workers are able to function the way they need to in order to be successful in their jobs. Simply put, it’s the lifeblood of the computing platform.

Deciding when to upgrade, therefore, is an important consideration for any organization. This is especially true for governments and other public sector agencies, which on the one hand must be mindful of tighter operating budgets, and on the other meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of today’s citizens, while balancing security and privacy needs. The right OS can help Canada’s public sector organizations meet these challenges and give them the freedom and flexibility to work in a most effective and strategic way.

Before they can determine whether or not their existing OS meets their business needs, organizations must have all the facts. They need to carefully measure the actual cost of supporting their current infrastructure and compare that to the potential savings or performance improvements made possible through an upgrade. This will help them determine short- and long-term total cost of ownership (TCO), and how, or if, the current OS can support the current and future needs of workers.

Coming up with a plan

The Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ), a Quebec government-owned corporation responsible for the trade of alcoholic beverages, recently undertook a business value study of its operating system to see if it was still providing maximum value to the organization, and to help the IT department decide if a migration to Windows Vista was worthwhile.

Nearly 80 per cent of SAQ PC users