The increasing complexity of the PC environment is a concern to 57 per cent of IT professionals in the UK and North America who participated in independent research by QNB Intelligence Ltd. of Windsor, UK.
On behalf of Neoware Systems, Inc. and Citrix Systems, Inc., in October 2003 QNB completed 1,624 Web-based interviews on the use and practicalities of server-based computing (SBC) and thin client technology.
QNB found 38 per cent of IT professionals cited poor application performance and PC instability as a common complaint from users. Frequent crashes and reboots were reported as common issues by 33 per cent of respondents. Other complaints included the inability to run the latest applications and loss of data from local hard disks.
Over 70 per cent characterised the job of administering the PC desktop environment as either a “significant task” or a “costly and time-consuming burden.”
A quarter of respondents said that desktop support accounted for more than 35 per cent of help desk calls and a further 15 per cent said over half of the calls received fell into this category.
Server-based computing (SBC) was found to directly address many of the issues.
Two thirds of those utilising Access Infrastructure Software to implement SBC on a broad strategic basis indicated a significant impact on the ability to deploy, update and improve the availability of applications.
Other benefits highlighted by over half of respondents were the safeguarding of data from loss and abuse, extending the life of existing IT assets and delivering responsive, effective technical support.
QNB reports that organisations with high numbers of nomadic workers were three times more likely to adopt SBC strategically than more static organisations.
Half of the organisations indicating extensive use of thin clients believed the total cost of ownership of these devices is at least 30 per cent less than PCs. Compared to PCs, thin clients have a significantly longer life, estimated at five years or more by over half of respondents, compared to the typical three years for a PC.