Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Desktop management consists of the systematic activities performed by IS professionals to manage distributed computing resources throughout an organization. However, it does not appear that desktop management is being practiced extensively by organizations at this time. This paper, a comprehensive tutorial whose purpose is to raise awareness concerning the importance and potential of desktop management, examines the following issues: (1) What is the significance of desktop management? (2) What management practices constitute desktop management? (3) What are the benefits associated with implementing desktop management practices? (4) Why is desktop management not implemented? (5) What is the future of desktop management? The significance of desktop management is explored relative to total cost of ownership and the actions by the computer industry to support desktop management. Desktop management practice is described from two perspectives: (1) the software tools that enable and facilitate desktop management, and (2) the managerial activities associated with the discipline of desktop management. The benefits of desktop management covered in this paper include reduced cost of ownership, improved user productivity, and enhanced competitive advantage. However, desktop management is not widely practiced at this time, and the reasons for this state of affairs are examined briefly. Sales projections for desktop management software and interest in the topic on the Internet provide evidence that desktop management will be an important issue in the future. Issues that will impact that future include alternate ways of reducing total cost of ownership, increased use of mobile devices, and the emergence of enterprise system management tools.





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