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Are you ready to give up your desktop computer?

A guest entry by FCW Editor-in-Chief John Monroe

In recent months, we’ve heard several people beating the drum for a mobile-first computing strategy. The laptop, the tablet, the smart phone — according to some visionaries, these and similar products are slowly overtaking the desktop computer as the preferred personal computing platform.

Case in point: The Defense Contract Management Agency plans to save $5 million by 2014 by ditching all but 1,000 of its 13,000 desktop computers, according to a recent report by the Federal Times. And in a recent request for information, officials at the General Services Administration said they envision creating an “anytime, anywhere, any device” IT infrastructure, capable of supporting its teleworking employees.

Personally, I haven’t worked on a desktop PC for quite a few years. I don’t even bother with a flat-screen hookup in the office anymore, having adapted to the laptop screen. So it’s a seamless transition when I work at home or go on the road.

People equipped with tablet PCs or smart phones have an even easier time of it, being able to check their e-mail and work with documents (and even stream Netflix videos) without hauling out the laptop. More and more, the expectation is that people will be readily accessible no matter where they might be working at any given moment.

Understandably, organizations looking to cut costs are bound to wonder if it is necessary to fork out money for desktop PCs in addition to all the mobile devices. Making the switch is not a viable option for some employees, but perhaps it is for many.

But is there a catch here? If you work on a PC now, what would you miss if forced to trade it for a laptop? And then there’s the cost. Laptop computers cost considerably more than many desktop systems, which might make organizations think twice where mobility is not a high priority.

What do you think?

Posted on Jun 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM


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