Virtualisation 'Betamax' scares CIOs: Ovum

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Virtualisation 'Betamax' scares CIOs: Ovum

A global survey of CIOs has found that many are leery of desktop virtualisation solutions citing a lack of maturity and fragmentation within the market.

But CIOs also reported feeling under increased pressure to bring down the costs of desktop environments and make them simpler to manage while catering to growing demand for mobility.

“CIOs are coming under increasing pressure due to the escalating cost of maintaining corporate-owned remote PCs and laptops, demands for more end-user flexibility and mobility, and the proliferation of personal mobile devices in the workplace,” said Ovum analyst and head of the study Roy Illsley.

He explained that desktop virtualisation is an important tool for addressing these issues but that the path from traditional business PCs to virtualisation was fragmented.

“The general view is that as the market is relatively immature; selecting the correct technology represents a significant risk because nobody wants to invest in the Betamax of the desktop virtualisation world.”

Ovum estimated that virtualisation was about 15 percent of the total business PC market.

But it said that leaving out the traditional terminal services model (12 percent), which has dominated call-centre environments for 10 years, the actual share of market leaders VMware, Citrix and distant third-player Microsoft is only about three percent.

Of this small piece VMware and Citrix own 83 percent, according to Ovum. Trailing well behind is Microsoft with 11 percent, although the analyst group said its portfolio of solutions was making inroads. 

Illsley said CIOs appeared fully aware of the benefits of desktop virtualisation, especially around reducing costs and increasing business agility.

“But an often overlooked aspect is the need to shift thinking from a device-centric perspective to a user-centric one.”

Ovum said that CIOs needed to consider adjacent user-virtualisation solutions such as those provided by companies like AppSense, RES Software, and Centrix Software. 

“Defining a strategy centred on the user is the first step many should take, then CIOs could select the best approach for users’ needs,” Illsley concluded.

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