Feeds

Desktop options today

A checkpoint on delivering desktops

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Dtop Strategy Tomorrow's desktop is mobile. It's a phone, a smart device of some sort, a laptop - and there will of course be some fixed PCs in there too. But enterprises already need to cater for an increasing proportion of mobile workers, and that proportion is set to grow.

The challenge is not just how to deliver enterprise-level services to those individuals across an increasingly diverse set of hardware and network platforms, it's also to improve their experience and enhance their productivity. That's what desktop management is increasingly becoming: the art of delivering the right set of services to the right people at the right time.

Additionally, desktop estates are ageing as a the result of a combination of reduced spending during the recession and a reluctance to move away from Windows XP. The consequence is often increased spending on maintenance, and other perhaps more hidden costs as users find ways around using their company desktops, which are now perceived as near-obsolete, while IT picks up the costs.

So refreshing the desktop estate is now climbing the priority lists in many organisations and with research into enterprise buying patterns suggesting that Windows 7 is now becoming the chosen corporate desktop OS, this will help to realign users' PC experience at home with that of their office desktop.

On top of that challenge - and no one should underestimate the size of the undertaking - is the need for greater mobility and productivity. So as well as constant access to the corporate network and, through that, to the internet as appropriate, IT needs to support a wider range of devices than ever before.

Desktop virtualisation is one of the technologies that can help. It allows IT managers to stream applications to the right people, and allows the processing load to be borne by centralised servers rather than mobile devices, many of which are good for email and web browsing but can support little else.

For those with more capable devices, virtualisation technology allows laptops to be used at home while connected to a home network, without the danger of the desktop becoming compromised by a less secure environment. It also allows applications and the OS to be fully managed so that they're kept up to date, for example. And the resulting smaller footprint resulting from limited local storage of applications means lighter updates, which can be key over slow links.

Taking virtualisation a step further, if the entire desktop is virtualised, it means the desktop gold image, with no hardware dependencies, can be standardised across a much wider range of client hardware, reducing the costs of application and driver compatibility testing and allowing older applications to run in a suitable environment. All this speeds up the desktop roll-out, so reducing costs of both the roll-out process and of having to maintain older desktops for longer.

As an alternative to virtualisation, a thin client to which is streamed a live desktop that's running on a server in the datacentre can be appropriate for many users, especially task workers. In this scenario, the client can be very lightweight, reducing hardware costs but not incurring costs such as additional end-user training, since the end user experience will already be familiar.

Whichever way you deliver the desktop, for IT to give users a responsive, modern desktop experience is a critical element not just in increasing productivity and cutting costs, but also enhancing the reputation of the IT services teams, resulting in an improved relationship with end users. This in itself results in other benefits - not least among them an easier ride when negotiating the annual budget. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
POW! Apple smites Macbook Air EFI firmware update borkage
Fruity firm provides digital balm for furious fanbois
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?