Don't Forget the Human Factor - Page 1

Mar 30, 2007

Katherine Spencer Lee

If your organization is examining when, or even if, you'll deploy Microsoft’s new Vista operating system, there are doubtless numerous technical considerations to review. And while issues like application and hardware compatibility may be top of mind, it’s just as critical to determine the personnel requirements of any operating system change.

More From Katherine Spencer Lee on CIO Update

Teambuilding Tactics That Get Results Employees Have Edge in Today’s Job Market

The Great Baby Boomer Migration

Preventing Staff Burnout

If you want to comment on these or any other articles you see on CIO Update, we'd like to hear from you in our IT Management Forum. Thanks for reading.

- Allen Bernard, Managing Editor.

FREE IT Management Newsletters

Your ability to make a smooth transition to Vista is contingent upon the capabilities of your employees. If you don’t have sufficient staff or if they lack the necessary expertise, you are virtually guaranteed to encounter difficulties. So, how can you make sure your organization is well prepared?

Determine Capabilities

Start by conducting a thorough assessment of your staffing situation. Key questions to consider include: ·

  • Can your in-house staff deploy Vista effectively while managing existing responsibilities? What are their current workloads and do you anticipate upcoming spikes in activity? ·
  • What types of skills will be needed? ·
  • How long do you expect the rollout to take?
  • What type of ongoing support and maintenance issues will a Vista environment introduce?

    The precise number of employees needed during this time will vary greatly depending on the size of the current IT team and the number of users who are transitioning to Vista. A good starting point when forming your strategy is to review your experience implementing earlier operating systems such as Windows 2000 or XP and add in a buffer.

    Vista is expected to require more work than prior systems due to the long wait between Windows releases and Vista’s heightened capabilities and unique user interface changes. For a collection of Vista deployment tools, including a step-by-step guide, from Microsoft, click here.

    Consider Support

    Deploying a new operating system to an entire organization will change the way your IT department functions. For instance, you may have employees devoting extensive time to testing application compatibility in pilot programs before rolling out Vista or making changes to the network infrastructure. Who will manage their everyday responsibilities in the meantime?

    Executives, managers and employees will hold the same expectations as they did before IT staff resources were funneled to these efforts: When people at your firm need technical guidance or assistance, they will expect an immediate response from your group.


    Another key component to your human resources plan should be training. Your help desk staff, in particular, must be experts with Vista to field whatever questions may come their way after the rollout. They need to be familiar with not only the features of the operating system but also the intricacies of how Vista might interact with your firm’s other applications.

    There are a number of ways to effectively train employees in your department. Setting up a test environment before your deployment to give support staff hands-on time with Vista can be a wise investment. Traditional training methods, such as seminars, online courses, classes and certifications, also are worth considering for business workers and IT professionals alike.

  • Page 1 of 2


    0 Comments (click to add your comment)
    Comment and Contribute

    Your comment has been submitted and is pending approval.



     (click to add your comment)

    Comment and Contribute

    Your name/nickname

    Your email


    (Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.