Jul 18, 2011

Are there too many OSes for IT to support?

Help desks have to support an increasing number of operating systems, including multiple versions of Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, Linux, Apple IOS, Google Android, RIM, and others. Is it too much? Should IT trim down the number of supported OS's thereby simplifying their need for support?


Sure, trim down your possible customer base. Wouldn't want to have too many customers.


I suppose it might help if a company standardized on a particular platform. But things change quickly in technology, and it may be necessary to support a number of different operating systems as time goes by.

I can understand though that some IT folks might try to keep a lid on the sheer number of operating systems they have to support. It does have the potential to get overwhelming past a certain point.

But that concern has to be balanced by the practical needs of users inside the company. One or even two operating systems might not cut it in terms of features and functions for users.

It's a tough balancing act, and it makes me glad I'm not an IT administrator. ;)

This is kind of a dumb question. Sure, it's easier to support one or two operating systems, but with all the development that has been happening in the mobile space since the iPhone came out, it would be short-sighted to limit the function of what an organization can do under some preconceived notion that things need to be simple or easy. A smartphone is not an electric typewriter - and as such, it may be used for a variety of activities. Smart IT departments will find a way to deliver better service across more platforms without whining about how it isn't easy. If you're doing you job right - using IT to move your business forward - IT is never easy.


That's kind of a dismissive take on the problem of OS propagation within an organization. I've worked for a number of companies where the IT department chose the computer you use and the phone you use and the software you used - because for them, it's better to define a few standards rather than letting the company's infrastructure to resemble the Wild West. Homogenization exists for a reason - to streamline the day-to-day labor of IT - which leads to the free time one needs to work on longer-term, big-picture projects.

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