There are many good and obvious reasons why enterprises all over the world are moving to virtual workspaces. Easier management, lower running costs, better use of resources. However, there have always been an equally valid set of reasons why the company should NOT move to a virtual solution, too; cost of deploying RSDH software, lack of communications options, can’t work offline, and so forth.
In recent years, many of the factors that were holding enterprise back have been addressed. Thin clients are now capable of handling things like advanced graphics, VoIP and video streaming, making them much better adapted to running as an enterprise resource.
Mobility is fast becoming a major driving force behind enterprise purchasing decisions, and a virtual workplace is very well suited to accommodating this trend. A virtual workflow is literally able to follow a user around, allowing them to perform tasks wherever they happen to be without losing the thread of what they were working on, and without having to wait for a system to boot up, then search the cloud for the files they had open at their regular PC. Coupled with an access control token or Single Sign On (SSO) solution, a simple touch of the wrist or swipe of a card will almost instantly open the user’s profile, revealing what he or she had been working on last time they tuned in. Time and movement studies have proven that this can save as much as half an hour per day, and also eliminates the need to remember and enter multiple passwords.
Virtual workplaces are also better for the environment, with market analysts at Gartner estimating that the IT industry’s share of global CO2 emissions is at 2 percent. Recent studies conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology in Germany, revealed that a combination of IGEL thin clients and virtual desktops based on VMware View proved to have 47 percent less of an environmental impact than a similar, PC-based environment.
Furthermore, a virtual desktop infrastructure is cheaper to purchase and cheaper to run than a standard desktop environment, with thin clients costing substantially less than their ‘fat’ counterparts, and running at as little as 1 watt of power when idle. Thin clients on average use between 61 and 77 percent less power than PCs.
Still on the cost-savings front, an IGEL thin client running Linux also avoids Microsoft OS licensing costs, and there are no AV or weekly patch management issues to consider which makes administration much easier.
So in essence, a virtual desktop environment running thin clients can offer mobility and convenience, as well as a cheaper, greener alternative to traditional desktop computing.