Executive Education

5 Reasons to Replace Your PCs with Thin Clients

Managed Workplace

If your IT department is stuck in a constant state of churn, managing PC refreshes, it may be time to consider your alternatives. It can be costly and agonizing to consistently purchase, provision and deploy new PCs, not to mention the hours it takes to manage them. But, there is another option: thin clients.

Thin clients? Yes. Today’s thin client hardware and software is more advanced, powerful and feature rich than you may ever have imagined. Plus they come with a lot of additional benefits your PC desktops could never deliver.

So what is a thin client? Basically, it’s a small form factor, solid state computer that’s been optimized for connecting to a datacenter or cloud service provider. It’s managed centrally by a manufacturer’s operating software as a virtual desktop where software, operating systems and data storage is shared and accessed by those that need it at any time.

Because all data is stored in the cloud or local data center, a thin client can be accessed by any approved staff member while IT can control critical policies to ensure security, privacy, and compliance.

So why should you consider replacing your organization’s PCs with thin clients?

Consider these five reasons:

  1. Lower in Cost – Of course thin clients are less expensive. Without local storage on the device, thin clients are initially lower in cost. But that cost savings goes much deeper than the preliminary device cost when you consider a number of additional factors. By removing the user-accessible storage from the device you also remove the unit’s moving parts which eliminates the need for cooling fans. This makes a much quieter device that uses less energy and breaks less frequently. On top of that, they are faster to deploy, easier to manage and last longer. Plus, you can repurpose older PCs and extend their life with a software-defined thin client extending your capital investments. Thin clients also give IT much greater management control over Microsoft licensing further reducing both cost and complexity using a Linux OS. All this can exponentially reduce your desktop infrastructure costs both up front and over time.
  1. More Secure – Because access to content using a thin client is policy controlled through a centralized and virtualized server, IT is better able to assure security and compliance. Today’s thin clients are considerably more secure than PCs. The best devices offer multiple layers of security while still giving users the flexibility and access they want to remain productive. Data security features offered by advanced thin clients include two-factor authentication by means of a smartcard reader or USB tokens together with additional “possession” factors. This helps to prevent phishing attacks and social hacking. Additional security layers can include fingerprint recognition, badging, support for security standards and protocols for secure VPN connections and USB security to disable unauthorized USB device use to prevent data loss. Thin clients by nature also minimize the risk of hardware theft and physical manipulation common with PCs all while IT staff can remain in control through secure remote management that can protect devices from Denial of Service (DoS) and Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks.
  1. High Performing – Today’s thin clients feature innovative performance features to support even the most advanced applications and multimedia technology. Support for the latest protocols, such as VMware Blast Extreme Protocol, delivers robust functionality for advanced applications and the high performance video and graphic experience end users expect. Plus, in most applications, login times are must faster than when using a connected PC making time to productivity just that much quicker.
  1. Lower in Energy Consumption – Green IT: it’s the answer to many of today’s operational challenges. From increasing energy prices to global warming and new regulatory requirements, there are mounting reasons to lower your energy footprint. With their longer service lives and decreased power consumption, thin clients are easier on both budget and the environment. In fact, research shows that, over a three-year period, software thin clients can decrease the global warming potential of IT workstations by up to 63% and can cut power costs by up to 88%.
  1. Efficient Remote Management – Unlike the traditional PC, thin clients are dramatically fast to set up, manage and secure, no matter where users may be working. Because they can be centrally updated, remotely controlled and even switched off and on by a centralized administrator, they are ideal for distributed worksites or remote users. As many as 100,000 devices can be managed from a single console, significantly lowering management costs and simplifying policy control.

Don’t let your IT team suffer the never ending challenge of managing PCs. Consider the value of today’s thin clients and see how easily and cost effectively, you can put them to work for you. Then start collecting your return on investment while knowing you’ve made a sustainable choice to power the future of your desktop infrastructure.

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Written by: Jed Ayres, CEO and President of IGEL North America at IGEL Technology GmbH.

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Jed Ayres
Jed Ayres is an expert in desktop productivity solutions and the President and CEO of IGEL North America, a leading provider of workspace management software, thin clients and zero clients.