Waitrose has completed a project to upgrade its end-user devices and migrate to Windows 7, enabling mobile working for more of its staff.
The supermarket retailer, the sixth largest in the UK, has now rolled out 3,000 new Lenovo laptops and desktops as part of a move to replace its Windows XP operating systems.
The work was completed in December 2013, with service provider Computacenter leading the implementation of the new devices. As a result of the device replacement, the retailer has now been able to support mobile working for 23 percent of its employees, which it claims helps to increase productivity among its workforce.
"Mobility, flexible working and employee expectations are all changing the requirements for workplace IT. To safeguard [employee] satisfaction and productivity, we need an IT environment that is fit for today's workstyles," said Lisa Smith, project manager at Waitrose.
In addition, the more powerful hardware makes intensive tasks easier to manage, while the 64-bit operating system is better able to process the complex drawings involved in designing new stores.
As well as helping to rationalise its applications and upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007, the project was also driven by the need to migrate from Windows XP, said Smith, ahead of the end of support for the operating system in April 2014.
"Retaining paid support from Microsoft for Windows XP would have been really costly. But the risk of running an unsupported platform was also high, with the security threats increasing every month without patches or updates."
Last month, it was announced that Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership, had deployed Google Apps across its organisation. Approximately 30,000 employees at both John Lewis and Waitrose have now migrated onto Google's cloud-based collaboration platform.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.