One of the more popular articles on my blog are those pertaining to Citrix Receiver and the iPad. I am also currently involved in engineering and implementation of a “virtual desktop” pilot. So needless to say I am spending a lot of time researching and reading up on thin client and mobile computing.
Quick fact to start things off: In 2010 its expected that 13% of all corporate computer deployments will be thin clients. I’d also expect mobile computing to show a strong growing trend moving forward, but I was unable to find any hard numbers. So it’s becoming apparent that this isn’t just some niche technology, but in fact something we can all expect to see in the near future, if you haven’t seen it already.
With companies like VMware, Citrix and Wyse introducing mobile applications to allow access to application and desktops that are centrally stored, this is certainly something that will catch on. I am an avid user of my iPad for business use thanks to Citrix Receiver. Sure, there are use cases where a PC/Laptop will trump the iPad for usability, but I’d certainly say that a majority of corporate users can get away with 90% of their work on a mobile device.
For cases where a mobile device won’t suffice, thin clients are certainly an alternative. I think a majority of people know the upsides of virtual desktops and accessing virtualized applications on thin clients. The upside of being able to move from device to device and maintain the same computing space is a major plus in itself, aside from the cost savings, reduced hardware failure and reduction in support required. And there are for more benefits to this approach.
Certainly, with these two technology approaches being in their infancy, there will be arguments against them, and task that they may not be able to do as well as existing computing, or even do at all. This should be expected, as with any new technology, problems will arise and a solution will be implemented with the technology. But I certainly think that virtual desktops, application virtualization, thin clients and mobile computing are going to be a solid entry in the stable of technologies deployed in corporate and enterprise environments.
So what are your thoughts on the legitimacy of Mobile and Thin Computing?