For many IT administrators the feeling of being shackled to the desktop will be familiar involving an endless round of responding to helpdesk tickets raised by users, running security patches and rolling out upgrades. But a new desktop era is upon us in the form of the managed workspace which will help solve these day-to-day hassles.
For some IT administrators – those running thin client desktops – life has been more manageable for some time. Plug and play roll-outs, with centralised remote management, have been offered by thin client vendors for years with free management software included, too. And by offering Windows and Linux firmware versions, with a range of codecs and protocols, they are open devices – meaning administrators can deploy the IT infrastructure they wish with the flexibility to change – without having to worry about the compatibility of their desktop devices.
However, the reality for the majority of businesses is that they have a mix of equipment or the workforce demands a range of different desktop devices.
With some simple conversion and management software, many desktop PCs and laptops can now be converted to thin client devices in a matter of minutes. This creates the opportunity to manage the vast majority of desktops and mobile devices like a single estate.
There are lots of benefits. A study by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany found that the Total Cost of Ownership can be reduced by 47% if an existing managed PC is converted into a thin client instead of replacing it with a new Windows PC. With a notebook conversion, this figure is as high as 55%. If fat clients are simply replaced by hardware thin clients, then savings of 35% can be achieved over a three-year period.
With a uniform desktop estate, devices can be centrally and remotely managed at the click of a mouse. And the latest developments with this desktop management software means that they can easily be integrated with enterprise solutions such as IBM Tivoli and Microsoft SCCM.
In addition, desktop security is instantly improved and the chance to move to a virtual or cloud infrastructure suddenly looks simpler and more cost effective because changing all the end-user devices has been removed.
Can you feel those shackles falling away from your wrists? It feels good doesn’t it?