British IT Execs Wary of Vista Transition

Half of Britain's IT managers plan to take more than a year to fully migrate their companies onto Microsoft's new operating system

Time and complexity are putting UK IT managers off migrating their organisation onto Microsoft's Vista operating system.

New research has found nearly half of IT managers (49 per cent) will take more than 12 months to fully migrate their organisation onto Vista - once preparation, testing, rollout and post-migration issues have all been taken into account.

David Bradshaw analyst at Ovum told "It is a big project to go onto Vista. I'm not entirely surprised by [the research]. That's the kind of timescale I would expect."

A further 45 per cent say the whole process would take six months or more, with just six per cent saying the process would take less then three months.

Just three per cent of respondents said they are planning to migrate their corporate systems onto Vista immediately.

As well as time, the sheer complexity of migration was cited by 62 per cent of IT managers as putting them off a move to Vista.

The research also shows IT staff are concerned about post migration issues such as downtime - leading to loss of productivity - and user questions about personal settings or applications wasting support staff time.

Because of this, Bradshaw suggested, IT departments may wait for staff to start using Vista at home to reduce the number of user issues emerging following migration. However, some companies such as have already taken the plunge and migrated to Vista.

The research was carried out by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Enteo Software and covered 100 IT managers from companies of 1,000 employees or more.

The paper - seen by EUobserver - suggests that some host countries, such as Germany and Austria, use "heavy" control measures towards foreign-service providers which make access to their labour market more difficult.

Among the measures - defended by the countries that apply them as a way to counter illegal employment and undeclared work - the report mentions the obligation for foreign firms to have an office and representative in the host country, as required by nine EU states, like Germany, Austria and Sweden.

Another of the host countries' extra requirements is for foreign workers to always carry various social documents – this is applied in 20 countries, including Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria and Sweden.

Brussels argues that both measures are "unjustified and disproportionate" as the same information could be obtained via the employer or the authorities in the home country of the service providers.

"Even if a measure appears to be acceptable in itself, such as the use of a declaration by the time the work starts, indicating how many workers will be posted, where and for how long, additional formalities may be attached to it which may make its use so costly or difficult as to hamper unnecessarily the provision of services," states the document.

In some cases, the specific rules targeting the foreign companies "apply in an automatic and unconditional manner, on the basis of a general presumption of fraud or abuse by a person or company" while the firms are in reality exercising their fundamental freedom of movement across the bloc, Brussels points out.

On the other hand, some countries "apparently can do without" such rules and with allowing foreign companies even to send the basic information to the relevant authorities only upon their request.

"This also leads to problems as the basic exchange of information as required by the posting of workers directive should make sure that workers are protected. And in some countries, like the UK, trade unions complain that due to ineffective monitoring, workers are sent by foreign companies under unacceptable conditions," a high commission official said.

There are several court cases pending against the member states in breach of the EU's law on the posting of workers and 27 others are currently being prepared by Brussels.

According to the commission's figures, in 2005 there were just under one million posted workers in the EU, representing about 0.4 percent of the EU working age population, with the highest numbers present in Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Poland.

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