Thin Clients as Attractive Solutions for Cost‐Effective, Secure Endpoint Management

Situation Overview

Managing IT endpoint infrastructure at an enterprise scale continues to be a challenge across most industries. A myriad of considerations — from security to cost, levels of support, and software compatibility — can complicate decisionmaking processes for IT managers and business leads. Thin clients have remained an inexpensive and comparatively flexible hardware solution that many enterprises have turned to. While the perception of the thin client market may be of a static hardware segment, some firms are innovating to keep pushing the thin client market forward.


Essential Guidance

Thin clients remain an effective solution for organizations looking to provide a rapidly scalable, cost-efficient hardware solution with unified management. Thin clients have the added benefit of greater security due to sensitive data not being stored on the devices themselves. IDC believes organizations considering thin client solutions should take the following factors into account:

  • Consider existing workloads — if hardware is not under pressure from high-performance compute tasks, then thin clients with lower-compute specifications may be a viable solution.
  • Evaluate OS and device compatibility required in the organization to determine if flexible thin client options are the best fit, especially during Windows 10 migration, which can require more resources than Windows 7.
  • Potentially repurpose older hardware to a thin client OS to defer investment in endpoints, while at the same time ensuring manageability and security.
  • Organizations with a high frequency of hardware infrastructure rollouts are advised to consider thin client options to optimize deployment times in a cost-efficient manner.
  • Examine to what extent existing PC workstations are fulfilling security needs and, if necessary, how this will be impacted by GDPR.

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