The Register has published the results of a survey of IT Professionals on their use of Thin Clients. The survey was sponsored by Dell.
With conversations around end user computing dominated by highly desirable mobile technology, it’s easy to overlook the potential of thin client hardware. Deployed in the right way to the right types of user, however, far from being the compromise option, thin client devices can enhance the user’s overall experience. While the majority see a role for such technology, legacy perceptions can be an impediment to adoption.
The virtualisation option, and particularly the use of hardware-based thin clients in that context, was the subject of a recent Reg reader survey. From this we learned that over their many years of existence, thin client devices have found their place in many environments.
Relevant types of users and use cases called out in relation to this (in respondents' own words) include:
"Office administration staff."
"Operational and managerial staff using office or web based applications."
"General business users, help desk or call centre agents, and anyone else who needs a moderate and consistent set of applications."
The theme coming through here is the acknowledged role of thin clients in meeting the needs of employees with relatively undemanding application requirements. For users who spend most of their time accessing server or cloud based business applications, or performing lightweight tasks with Microsoft Office (email, word processing, etc), there's a good case for virtualising and centralising their Windows environment.
Apart from the management and support benefits of reducing complexity on the user's desk, doing away with the local "C: Drive" as part of the centralisation process also removes a security headache. With this in mind, it's not surprising to see users who frequently access sensitive or valuable data being identified as potential targets for thin client deployments. Examples here include:
"Admin staff using sensitive data."
"Software development contractors so the source doesn't leave the organisation's core servers."
Then sticking with the theme of risk management, another potential benefit comes to the fore:
"Thin clients in a DR scenario."
What this comment is getting at is that it's a lot quicker and easier to get users up and running again if their desktops reside on a server independently of physical devices.
More at the source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/28/ffd_thin_client_study_results/