According to a recently concluded IBM global survey, a growing number of businesses are looking to PC management and financial services to reduce the rising costs and complexity associated with managing PCs, laptops and other personal technology devices.

More than 750 IT and business executives

responded to the survey, which was conducted by Knowledge Systems and Research Inc., in Canada, the U.S., U.K., Nordic countries, Japan and Australia.

Other key findings from the survey are:

Interest in buying PCs as a managed service is high across the globe: 55 percent of large enterprises said they either would consider paying for their PCs as part of an IT services contract, rather than doing it themselves, or are already doing so today.

Significant growth opportunities abound for IT services providers to sell PCs as a managed service. Globally, 38 per cent of large enterprises that manage their PCs in-house said they would consider having an IT services provider do it for them. Only 28 percent of large enterprises currently have their PCs managed by an IT services provider.

Among medium-sized companies, 37 per cent would consider procuring their PCs as a managed service. The countries with the greatest growth potential in managed PC services were the United States, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom (Japanese consideration was 34 per cent, while UK was 32 per cent).

Nordic countries had the highest percentage (48 per cent) of respondents who already purchase their PCs as a service; Australia (21 per cent) had the lowest percentage.

“”In today’s competitive business climate, the cost of managing a fleet of PCs can quickly spiral out of control, creating chaos on the balance sheet and with a company’s IT staff,”” said Dale Moegling, manager of international desktop services at IBM Global Services. “”Though the cost of acquiring PCs, laptops and other personal technology devices has dropped in recent years, the costs of maintaining and operating them have skyrocketed. That’s prompting companies to get a better handle on PC management costs by acquiring and maintaining their PCs as a service – leveraging the greater scale of an IT services provider like IBM which offers these services for many customers worldwide,”” he added.

Industry analyst firm Meta Group estimates that maintenance and operations for a company’s end-user environment can account for 80 per cent of IT costs. For example, the average desktop PC maintenance costs a business between US$2,000 and $5,000 per PC, per year, per person.

IBM estimates that desktop management services can cut the costs of managing personal technology by up to 30 per cent, based on estimates from internal and customer research.

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