One of the questions that I am fielding with frequency is whether a business should leverage the existing investment in a desktop and re-purpose the device as a virtual access device, or acquire a thin client. The community would be very interested in your experience and opinions.
As indicated on previous blogs on the topic of client computing, the opinions expressed in this blog are mine based upon my experience and research, and not those of HP.
There is a business case to be made for re-purposing and also one in favor of the thin client. The decision is likely based upon what the criteria is for the business.
On the pro re-purposing position, is the avoidance of net new acquisition and the avoidance of adding a level of complexity to the implementation of virtualization. On the counter position of re-purposing is the requirement for a desk side support call to remove the disks and potentially disable the USB. While this could be performed remotely, at some point the disk would likely need to be removed and cleansed, would it not ?
In addition, the consumption of power and the ultimate disposal of the device would need to be considered. The offset would likely be that the devices are fully expensed or depreciated and would not require capital.
In favor of the thin client is that the acquisition cost is low compared to a desktop, less power is consumed, and the mean time between failure is considerable. The business case, however, would need to include a decommissioning of the existing desktop and all of the costs associated with it. The key may very well be the avoidance of investing incremental capital in a net new device, which may be a topic more driven by our economy than by TCO or cost metrics.
My research has always suggested that there are no clear right or wrong answers in cllient lifecycle, this topic seems to be a case in point to illustrate that particular perspective.
It would seem that the criteria - capital or cost is one of the common demominators in the equation.
What are your thoughts?