Windows 2000 faces a massive skills shortage even though the majority of companies will not rollout the operating system until late next year.
This is the warning from Gartner Group analysts meeting in Orlando this week, who predicted that more than 70 per cent of corporates would wait around nine months to upgrade.
"Many enterprises that closely examine Windows 2000 version 1.0 will find the benefits to be less compelling than the costs of the upgrade, combined with the risk of an unproven OS," said Thomas Bittman, Gartner Group analyst.
"For most IS organisations, Windows 2000 is not simply a network operating system upgrade - instead Windows 2000 is an overhaul of server, client, network and security issues and infrastructure," added Gartner's Windows 2000 analyst, John Enck.
Once they do begin the corporate rollout, a huge shortage of experienced IT professionals with Windows 2000 skills will face them. Skill shortages will become the number one problem for Windows 2000, rather than technology issues, the analysts warned.
"Skills in NT are very portable and because of that we have seen some real retention problems inside organisations. Some companies train two people in order to keep one," said Bittman.
"Up to 2003 some companies will choose Unix over NT just because the skills are cheaper," he added.
NT server people costs would be five per cent to 15 per cent higher than other operating systems, limiting the ability of companies to reduce their total cost of ownership.
Unless you have a solid retention program, Bittman warned, NT staff turnover would be 10 per cent higher than company average and double that for those staff that get certification. Service vendors will continue to be the biggest culprit in poaching quality staff.
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