Desktop virtualisation poses risky problem for CIOs

By : |July 20, 2011 0

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: CIOs see selecting the right technology provider for their desktop virtualisation strategy as a “significant risk”, finds marekt research firm Ovum.

In a new report, the independent technology analyst claims that CIOs harbour concerns about the immaturity of the market and some are reticent to take the plunge for fear of purchasing the wrong solution for their enterprise.

Also Read: Cisco intros virtual desktop portfolio in India

Roy Illsley, author of the report and Ovum principal analyst, commented: “CIOs are coming under increasing pressure due to the escalating cost of maintaining corporate-owned remote PCs and laptops, demands for more end-user flexibility and mobility, and the proliferation of personal mobile devices in the workplace.

“Desktop virtualisation can go a long way towards alleviating these issues. However, the move away from business PCs towards desktop virtualisation has been hampered by the fragmented market.

“The general view is that as the market is relatively immature; selecting the correct technology represents a significant risk because nobody wants to invest in the Betamax of the desktop virtualisation world.”

Ovum’s research has found that desktop virtualisation currently represents approximately 15 per cent of the business PC market. However, this figure is dominated by the traditional terminal services model (12 per cent), typically used in call centre-type environments, and has been for the last 10 years.

If terminal services are excluded, the next generation of solutions aimed at CIOs, from the likes of VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft, hold less then three per cent of the market, showing that many CIOs are holding back from taking the plunge. In addition, Ovum has found that most CIO deployments are small scale, and the number of large deployments is few and far between.

VMware and Citrix are currently the most dominant vendors in the space and between them account for 83 per cent of the market. However, while Microsoft only holds 11 per cent market share, its range of technologies is beginning to make gains. Meanwhile, niche solutions will continue to be developed, leading to more choice for CIOs, but more confusion about which vendor to back.

Illsley added, “A recent CIO survey Ovum conducted found that simplifying the management of desktops to reduce costs and increasing business agility were the top two reasons for implementing desktop virtualisation, so awareness of the potential benefits is high.

“But an often overlooked aspect is the need to shift thinking from a device-centric perspective to a user-centric one. This is where adjacent solutions from the likes of AppSense, RES Software, and Centrix Software in the user-virtualisation space become important considerations to any desktop strategy.

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