One could presumably begin every sentence with the phrase "in this economy…" It seems like more than any other thing, a budget crunch forces us to ask some tough questions about the work we're doing, check to see if we're going to get the results we thought we were, or if we did 50% less we'd get 80% of the result we'd hoped for.
A question that I am frequently pressed to answer is whether or not an organization should choose to deploy Office 2007 today or to wait for the eventual release of Office 14. It's a fair question, although I think that in most cases it is more frequently asked to test whether or not an organization will save money by standing pat or by moving forward. I think what people are really asking with the Office 14 question is "do I save more money if I deploy now or if I do nothing?" – a fair question, and one that I'd like to take a minute to answer here.
"Deploy now" is the answer. Getting users to Office 2007 will result in benefits that directly relate to cost reduction. There are a lot of ways to describe why, but for a minute let me discuss IT-related benefits specifically.
Off the top of my head, here are a few very good reasons why 2007 will save you money from day 1:
As instant feedback, all of these things translate into reduced management cost for IT. I haven't really begun to discuss the concept of productivity gain and how much more efficient users are with 2007 than prior releases; the idea that users are now experiencing 12 times more functionality in PowerPoint 2007 than they did in 2003. Or the value that consolidating business applications through the Office user interface is bringing. Products like Duet deliver a great shortcut to ROI on line of business applications.
As IT organizations look for ways to contribute to their organization's value, and to help reduce operational costs, make people more efficient, etc., they need look no further than the software that is right in front of them. People all over the world are realizing benefit with 2007. Now is the time to take advantage of its advances.
Gray Knowlton, Office Group Product Manager, just posted a nice blog entry Bits on Boxes about the cost