The End of the Old Dream (Day 1 of 3)

Bill Gates started Microsoft with a vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. Back to the early 1970s, you could not buy a personal computer (PC) unless you wanted to build it yourself. After 1975, you could simply purchase one at Microsoft, a computer giant who uncovered a new era of PCs. According to Gartner, the number of installed PCs worldwide surpassed one billion units in 2008. Gartner predicts that the number will exceed 2 billion units by early 2014. Do these numbers indicate that the traditional PCs are going to enter every home and sit on every desk? Is Bill’s dream about to come true?

Not really! (Sorry, Bill…) Nicholas Carr, the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, has indicated that when a product becomes ubiquitous, its strategic values diminish. Similarly, as the PCs appear almost everywhere, their strategic values disappear. They simply become a cost of doing business. How come? Let’s see some limitations of the traditional PCs:

  • Laborious to install, move, add and change the hardware
  • Insecure because of their portable nature
  • Being greatly underutilized—the average utilization of corporate PCs is estimated at less than 5%
  • Depreciating rapidly at about 50% every year
  • Unable to meet the users’ expectation to access their desktops at anytime from anywhere
  • Difficult to troubleshoot in the event of a system failure
  • Burdensome to manage an increasing number of separate physical devices (i.e. multiple PCs, Netbooks, Smartphone, etc.)

As you can see, the traditional PCs are costly to maintain and can decrease your business agility.  In order to remain proactive in the market, you need to access your desktop not only at a traditional PC on your office desk, but also at any device at anytime from anywhere. Yesterday’s strategy can no longer keep you up with the high-paced and dynamic nature of today’s business environment. It is time to wake up from the old dream and to look forward!

@CZhu

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