ZDNet study: the PC pro gives overall satisfaction, but improvements are acclaimed

ZDNet study: the PC pro gives overall satisfaction, but improvements are acclaimed Cybersecurity

In the era of the king smartphone, the PC has not yet said its last word. It remains indeed an essential terminal in the professional world. And the Covid-19 crisis, which imposed the massive adoption of telework, has only emphasized this. However, business spending in this sector promises to drop sharply in 2020 (-7% according to Canalys).

During the confinement, the PC recalled the central place it occupies in companies, becoming on this occasion a real crisis tool and an essential brick of business continuity.

Respondents massively equipped with corporate PCs

The survey conducted by ZDNet.fr among French employees also points out that a large majority of them are equipped to participate in this business continuity. 82% of respondents, mostly managers, have a computer provided by their employer. Only a minority used a personal terminal to carry out their daily tasks.

This result contrasts with the study conducted in April by the National Association of HRDs. However, this concerned a larger population of employees, and not mainly managers, generally better equipped.

The ANDRH noted that 46% of companies “had to deal with a lack of equipment or with unsuitable equipment”. She added that “the short delay did not allow to equip all the teams and the first days, connection problems could have appeared, due to an overload of the networks”.

However, differences between employees appear depending on the size of the company. ZDNet.fr thus observes that the best equipped belong to companies with more than 250 employees. Of these, 95% have a PC provided by the company. In companies with 50 employees or less, this share drops to 61%.

Multi-equipped employees, even if the laptop is a benchmark

Laptops now represent most of the terminals available to employees, even more among executives. This proportion is found in the ZDNet survey. For their tasks during confinement, the respondents therefore relied heavily on a laptop PC (corporate or not).

In fact, 72% have a laptop for remote work. This category largely supplants all the others. The desktop PC (fixed) is cited by 24% of the respondents. The rate of more modern PC equipment, known as new generation, remains reduced, to 18%.

The employees are however multi-equipped. Some thus combine, for teleworking, desktop computer and laptop. The smartphone also enters the panoply of teleworkers. 51% use it for their professional activity. The smartphone ranks just behind the laptop in terms of equipment.

As far as the new generation PC is concerned, is it the prerogative of the wealthy, that is to say of large corporations? Not necessarily, even if the size of the business affects the equipment. 67% of respondents equipped with such a PC work in a company with 50 or more employees.

A Windows 10 PC as standard, and employees made aware of security

In France, according to institutes like AT Internet or ComScore, Windows represents between 88% and 90% of the operating systems used. The proportion is broadly equivalent among the panel of the ZDNet.fr survey. And among the versions of Windows deployed in companies, Windows 10 is essential.

83% of respondents use a PC for teleworking under the latest version of the Microsoft platform. The Mac represents 9% of teleworkers. However, it is less than Linux, which reaches 12%, much more than the usual share of open source OS. However, among these Linux users, this platform is often not exclusive for their professional activity. A significant part also uses a Windows PC, generally version 10 of the OS.

The survey also reveals that Windows 7 has not disappeared from businesses, despite the end of support at the start of the year. In fact, 12% of respondents say they are working on this version of the operating system.

Planned OS migrations

Is the security risk linked to the use of an OS without support, however, ignored? The answer is very largely no among the panel. 88% of them declare that they are aware of the risks associated with such use.

Migration projects are however planned to remedy this. 44% of the users concerned (under Windows 7 or earlier) thus report a planned migration to Windows 10. They are nevertheless 45% to ignore if this migration is planned – and 11% to report that such a project does not is not considered to date in their business.

A feeling of security perceived as satisfactory

While old versions of Windows persist in companies, this situation is not accompanied by a feeling of insecurity among the teleworkers surveyed. Other functions complement the arsenal of organizations in this sector.

In a very large majority, respondents therefore consider that they carry out their professional tasks in a secure manner. 85% of respondents consider their teleworking exercise to be secure. The use of a Windows 7 PC does not affect this result. The figures do not allow us to establish a correlation between OS version and feeling of security.

Calls for better data backup

Respondents therefore mainly state their confidence in the security measures put in place in their organization. For 15% of them, however, improvements are desirable in this sector.

For the latter, the point of attention relates more particularly to data backup. 80% are in favor of using backup software. Without tools in this area, employees are likely to develop the use of shadow IT and therefore store their data on unsupervised applications.

This risk was also highlighted in the “Mobility for pros” dossier, recently published by ZDNet.fr. “We know that corporate data has been saved on USB sticks, accessed from quickly implemented platforms such as Zoom. Many Dropbox accounts have been set up to share documents. We have a real concern about the data explosion, “said Wavestone security expert Gérôme Billois.

Employees must therefore be made aware of this data issue for backup and recentralisation on the systems mastered by IT. They will then have to be removed from the alternative platforms operated during the imposed telework phase.

The issue of data security also emerges from the study conducted with readers. Among the recommended measures, 50% favor the encryption of data on the PC. They are also 60% to consider necessary a better security of the navigation on Internet.

PCs and work tools deemed efficient

For a majority of respondents, security is therefore not an obstacle to teleworking. The same goes for the performance of the tools made available to employees in the context of the health crisis. 82% of them indeed consider that PC and software are adapted to their needs. However, it is perhaps above all the software part that gives satisfaction.

On this aspect, the expectations of the employees are clear. Certain applications are therefore essential for them. These are messaging (95%), office automation (85%), web browser (80%), collaborative software (76%), tied with security tools (76%). Videoconferencing and IP telephony also find their place in the teleworker’s panoply (65%).

Are the characteristics of the PC therefore more secondary? Only 5% favor the touchscreen and 22% the autonomy and lightness of the machine. However, only 24% consider their PC to be efficient. In comparison, only 10% of them estimate that they do not have all the necessary software. The terminal could therefore be a drag on performance for teleworkers.

The slowness of the PC is not necessarily the main obstacle, however. 7% express dissatisfaction on this point. For 6%, it is the tools provided that are considered unsatisfactory, overall.

In addition, and even if 82% consider PC and software adapted to their needs, they remain 20% to consider necessary improvements in the field of equipment, whether hardware or software. What could these improvements be?

PC: priority to multitasking, screen, autonomy and power

For the teleworkers surveyed, the main characteristics of a professional computer stand out clearly. In order of importance (average of 9 out of 10), the two essentials are thus multitasking and the screen, by its size and its quality of display. These characteristics are indeed essential for productivity and performance.

The same goes for autonomy and computing power, which in terms of expectations get an average of 8 out of 10. The other proposed features are less unanimous. With an average of 6, the weight and the smoothness of the PC nevertheless remain criteria. This is not the case for hybrid mode (2-in-1 configuration, PC and tablet) with a score of 4 out of 10.

The price won a score of 6. But with the vast majority of employees equipped by their company, the place of this criterion in the second half of the table is probably not a surprise. Moreover, among the respondents using a personal computer, the price stands out as a more central criterion with an average of 7. For this sample, the first two characteristics are also multitasking and computing power, at 9.

Keep teleworking after the crisis? A big yes, 89%

Once the health crisis has passed, will employees massively return to their premises and their working habits as the President of Medef would like? Such a perspective clearly does not meet the expectations expressed by these same employees. Or at least not full time.

Among the ZDNet.fr panel, 89% would like to be able to continue working remotely on a regular basis when it ceases to be a necessity imposed by the crisis. In addition, 2%, whose activity was already carried out by telework. They are therefore 91% in favor of this mode of organization.

Several organizations are also preparing to develop telework. In May, PSA’s HR director, Xavier Chereau, set a course: “make it the benchmark for activities not directly related to production”.

At Cadremploi, confinement has also demonstrated the value of teleworking. Her HR Director Lise Ferret says she wants to “positivate on these great advances” introduced in the organization of work. She therefore anticipates the development of this working method with the disappearance of the last reservations expressed so far by managers.

For better teleworking, improvements are requested

On the whole, the teleworkers surveyed declared that they were satisfied with their tools and with remote working as implemented in their organization. This satisfaction goes hand in hand with expectations, as well as grievances, such as slow PCs.

To improve performance in telework and / or mobility, respondents thus identify desirable areas for improvement. And the first is not technical, but human. For 55% of them, new modes of organization and management are to be implemented.

Then only come the technological solutions. 33% consider remote and secure access to the corporate network and software to be necessary. 32% stress the need for a newer and more efficient professional computer.

Office and collaborative tools are also popular (29%), ahead of professional software accessible online (Cloud / SaaS) at 22%. Has the cloud become secondary in the desktop environment? Certainly not.

This figure is largely explained by a high rate of cloud tool equipment among the panel, in particular in the office automation field (59%). However, a large share of users still have On-premise office suites, mainly a version of Microsoft Office.


To conclude, here is a graph which shows the results of the survey conducted by ZDNet.fr.

Source: www.zdnet.fr

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