The Spiceworks Review: Why rumours of the PC’s death were greatly exaggerated

Our monthly scan of the popular online community for IT professionals looks at form factors, salary data and more

Share this article:

We’ve all heard about the “demise” of the PC — how mobility is making the traditional desktop computer a relic of the past. Spiceworks’ latest report, The Rise of the Mobile Empire, asked hundreds of IT pros how their companies are using different mobile devices — and how they think desktops will be dethroned.

“If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it’s that no ruler can expect to wear the crown forever,” says Peter Tsai, IT content guy for Spiceworks.

The report found that desktops are still king — for now. IT pros say 63% of their users have a desktop as their primary device, despite the fact that sales of mobile devices have surpassed desktop sales. Spiceworks community members responded to the report with their take on the demise of the desktop.

“The only people that use desktops are the receptionist, shipping boy and a contracts admin — none of whom ever leave the office except at the end of the day,” says CIO and vice-president of IT Michael Rowell. “I think our sales team could do most of their work on their iPads if they weren’t technophobes and we are probably moving our service team to the Surface Pro 3 (or whatever Pro is out when we upgrade). I spent some time with my Pro docked and I really couldn’t tell the difference from my Pro 3 and my enormous and powerful Dell Precision.”

There are other challenges, though. “Given my current staff and budget, I can support two to three times as many desktops as I can laptops. And the numbers inflate even more when talking about mobile devices like tablets,” says Spiceworks community member NonProf. “My experience has been that there is a real desire to switch to mobile devices, until the powers that be either see the bill for doing so properly… or until they start having problems from not doing so properly.”

Another topic that sparked debate was Computerworld’s annual IT Salary survey, in which a majority of respondents reported a salary increase within the past 12 months — up 3.6% in 2015 versus 2% in 2014.

While some community members say they’re right on the money (pun intended), many more found they were below — in some cases up to 50% — the average salaries in the survey.

“I make 36% less than what I should be making given the title. That’s equivalent to almost $20K less … ouch … that’d pay off my car easily!” says Xunami, who has worked as a help desk tech for 7 years.

“Wish it had stats for Canada,” says Christopher750, a junior IT administrator in Edmonton. “Going off of US mountain region isn’t exactly a bargaining token. But according to my college, the average starting salary is almost $10k above what I’m getting now. Definitely using that for bargaining.”

While salary and career prospects are always hot topics, this past month had some community members examining their disaster recovery policies — perhaps in light of the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

ITSlave, an IT manager, tests the company’s infrastructure monthly, but tests “process” annually. “There’s more to DR than IT. People and process are also involved.”

Robert Hummel, an IT director, would likely agree with that. He says: “I have learned that no matter how well I document, prepare, label, train and test, all it takes is one person to ignore all that and run screaming into the server room to undo all the planning in the world.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom last month, though. Like, ever wonder what happened to the floppy disk? Well, someone came up with the idea to wire six floppy disks and two hard disc drives in a suitcase to create this rather brilliant rendition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Well worth checking out, after seeing how your salary stacks up and examining your DR policy.

Share this article:
Comments are closed.