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User-Centricity is a Key Driver for VDI

By Toby Martin

A recent Forrester blog post discussed trends from an annual
survey of IT decision makers that revealed a drop in interest and plans for Virtual
Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) initiatives from 2011 to 2012.

A key takeaway for me, and one that I have
witnessed in our business, is that user-centricity is now a key driver for VDI.
People invest their time, efforts and most importantly, money, on the platform
and devices they want, so it’s safe to assume they are comfortable with the
personal devices they are bringing to work. The control and determination of
their platform is crucial to the acceptance of new technology, which will
always be higher when users choose their own platform vs. being given a
platform with which they are unfamiliar. This spending of their personal
dollars means they are vested, and less likely to complain to IT about issues
since it was their choice. An added benefit is cost reduction due to fewer
training needs.

Mobility is the increasing concern for
employees vs. VDI for employers—employers do still care about mobility, but once VDI is selected
it’s tough to pull back from the project since the investment is so large.
Employees want mobile access to data regardless of a designated BYOD, so by
de-coupling them from a device allows broader adoption by the mobile user.
Companies can still have the same control over data provided they have the
right virtual desktop solutions in place, such as MDM (esp. wipe), VPN, backup,
redundancy, etc.

The big question remains: Will enterprises
continue to shift to VDI for the added controls provided by the virtualization
toolsets via vendors like VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft, or will they shift
more resources to mobility and invest more in mobile device management and
portals to make enterprise applications more easily available to all workers? While
this is not an “either-or” scenario—it seems that the marketplace currently views
it as one.


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