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CIOs believe desktop virtualisation remains risky: Ovum

Research firm Ovum has released a new report into the perception CIOs have of desktop virtualisation and an immature market poses risks when trying to procure the most appropriate technology.

Ovum principal analyst Roy Illsley said desktop virtualisation can go a long way towards alleviating the pressure of PC maintenance costs, end-user flexibility and the proliferation of mobile devices for CIOs; however, the move away from business PCs towards desktop virtualisation has been hampered by a “fragmented market”.

According to Ovum, CIOs are concerned about the immaturity of the market and some are reticent to take the plunge for fear of purchasing the wrong solution for their enterprise.

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

Ovum’s research indicates desktop virtualisation represents about 15% of the business PC market, but this figure is dominated by the traditional terminal services model (12%) and has been for the past decade.

Last month TransGrid announced its intentions to move 500 of its PCs to virtualised thin clients in an effort to reduce costs and complexity.

The new generation of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technologies from vendors like VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft have less then 3% of the market, showing that many CIOs are holding back on full virtual desktops.

According to Ovum, most CIO-led deployments are small scale, and large deployments are “few and far between”.

VMware and Citrix are the most dominant vendors in the VDI space and account for 83% of the market. Microsoft holds 11% market share, according to Ovum’s research.

Just yesterday Oracle signalled its intentions to play in the desktop virtalisation space with the release of VirtualBox 4.1.

“A recent CIO survey Ovum conducted found that simplifying the management of desktops to reduce costs and increasing business agility were the top two reasons for implementing desktop virtualisation, so awareness of the potential benefits is high,” Illsley said.

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

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