Cloud Computing and the Desktop Client

Everyone’s moving to the cloud.

Rightly so…the cloud brings scalability and agility and it provides opportunities for true innovation by IT groups. Many teams are┬ámoving operations and data centers – or parts of data centers – to the Cloud.

But there’s more to the Cloud than just a place to store data.

The Cloud isn’t some nebulous location in cyberspace shared by many organizations, although it can be that. The Cloud is really anything your organization needs it to be and can range from that nebulous data store in cyberspace to a private cloud built specifically by/for your organization.

One area of Cloud Computing that often gets overlooked by many is in the Client area. Rather than buy full-powered desktops to run simple applications, it might make sense for organizations to buy Cloud Client devices. These devices can lower costs for hardware as well as lower IT support requirements since the majority of applications reside in the Cloud rather than on a desktop computer.

Using Cloud Client Computing devices provides IT with the ability to roll out multiple types of intelligent devices without having the overhead of full-spec desktop machines. This approach brings tremendous value to the IT group by allowing a much more centralized management and security infrastructure especially when using an end-to-end solution designed for cloud clients.

I worked with an organization a few years ago who had been planning to roll out new desktop computers in their Dallas office. Roughly 75% of the users receiving new computers were only going to be using an email application and word processing / spreadsheet applications and the CIO of the company was trying to find a way to reduce expenditures while still getting new machines to everyone. Her solution? Rolling out Cloud Client devices to most users and desktop machines for those users who absolutely needed ‘local’ computing power.

Additionally, the CIO was able to reduce costs on software licenses by only renewing licenses for those that needed them. When everyone received a desktop computer, they received a license to Microsoft Office by default but many weren’t using the suite at all (other than using Outlook).

Lastly, untold numbers of hours were saved by not having to have the IT Support team traipsing over the building fixing problems on desktop machines.

Going with a thin client approach saved that organization a few million in expenses in hardware, software and IT support costs in only a few years Additionally, over time, they were able to from a piecemeal thin-client approach to an end-to-end solution with management, security and performance.

Migrating from a desktop environment to one that includes desktops and Cloud Clients isn’t something will happen overnight, but with proper planning and some thought, the migration can be fairly pain-free and bring some overall cost savings to your organization.

This is a paid post in conjunction with IDG, Dell and Intel®.