More than three-quarters of IT professionals cite improved security as the main benefit of upgrading to Microsoft Vista, figures released today show.

The survey, conducted by emedia, found that 82 per cent of respondents said enhanced security and compliance was the major advantage of upgrading to the software giant’s new operating system.

However, less than half of those people surveyed expect their company to migrate to Vista this year and half of the respondents said that switching to the new software would distract IT departments from other important issues.

“Cyber security poses the biggest threat facing businesses, and it is clear that respondents to this survey hope Vista might provide some answers,” said David Clark, managing director at emedia.

“Given the importance of security and the expectation that Vista will improve the security situation, it is surprising that so many IT workers see its deployment as a distraction.”