I have been spending a lot of time over the past several months looking at issues around desktop virtualization. While a lot of the focus in the market has been around server based virtualization, I’d put my money behind desktop virtualization. I will even go out on a limb and predict that within the coming year there will a massive explosion in customers implementing desktop virtualization.
Here are the top three reasons that I make this prediction:
1. The cost of supporting PCs for hundreds or perhaps thousands of users is out of control — no upside ROI for a company.
2. In many situations a full PC is overkill. Does a customer support rep really need a PC? How about the increasing numbers of workers who do most of their work over the web? As the growth of Software as a Service continues to expand the need for a PC on every desk with diminish too.
3. Security of data has long been the bain of many security officers. If a user can easily download sensitive customer data onto a desktop problems will and do occur. I have seen too many articles about how a PC was accidentially lost with lots of customer data. While there are other ways of protecting data, many companies are looking at locking down the desktop device so that data storage is not even an option.
4. The capabilities of a thin client environment are growing more sophisticated. It is now becoming practical to implement multimedia on a non-PC. It is also possible to create a powerful environment where there is enough communications power to enable a user with a non-PC device to easily access information quickly.
5. And maybe your desktop capability will be available as a service. Several companies I have spoken with lately are making desktop sophistication available as a service. This is part of the overall movement to a long term cloud computing movement.
I think that once customers move out of the pilot stage with desktop virtualization they will move to wide deployments. I expect that the 100 desktop virtualization experiments that are successful will trigger deployments of 10s of thousands of deployments. Therefore, expect to see a huge surge of adoption within the next few years.