Companies Review The Role of the Desktop In The Future of The Business
A recent Computer Weekly article highlighted the fact that many businesses may soon be reviewing how they use the desktop PC in the business and whether or not they need it in any significant way going forward.
The office desktop used to be a self contained computer used for running local applications and possibly saving the data created on a shared platform, but this role is looking less likely in the future.
The signs are now that organisations will concentrate more on what they want from their end to end-to-end IT platform which could mean that if anything the good old workhorse desktop PC will end up being more like a simple access device.
How and Why the Change?
The role of the desktop has found itself under review for a number of reasons including that:
Where The Desktop Fits in the Future
The future is not all non Windows, non desktop. It should be said at point that Windows 10 is already running on 10 million devices. If you decide to migrate to Windows 10 you can expect help with that from suppliers like as Dell, HP and Lenovo.
For example, they can provide the means to run old applications on the new platform or to run a virtualised environment on top of Windows 10 for certain applications.
Concentrating all desktops in a central datacentre and using a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is another option. You can use discovery tools e.g. by RES Software and Centrix Software to see who is using what before migration, to make the desktop roll out more manageable and to understand what desktop systems would be best for what groups of people.
VDI can allow users to access their Windows based desktop from their non Windows tablets or smart phones, although there can be some performance issues.
As mentioned earlier Intel’s move away from focusing on speed is likely to see a focus on multi-factor authentication security e.g. utilizing fingerprint scanning, iris scanning or biometrics. This will mean less of a reliance on usernames or passwords, thus meaning that companies won’t need large numbers of agents on helpdesks helping people to re-set their passwords. For Intel this could therefore be a way to motivate companies to refresh their desktops.
Less of a Workhorse and More of an Access Device
All of this means that before licensing and rolling out an updated operating system organisations are more likely to be revising their IT estate. Companies are now more likely to be looking to the rapidly changing future, focusing more on what they need to achieve with their IT and considering multiple means to achieve that.
Desktops are now moving away from the role of running enterprise applications to the role of being access devices that allow mixing and matching of Windows, non-Windows and cloud-based apps and functionality through their browsers or thin clients.