Green Benefits Put Thin-Client Computing Back on the Desktop Hardware Agenda
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Overview: The lure of 25% or more power savings and the growing importance of green IT have resurrected the thin-client debate. IT sourcing executives, though responsible for setting neither environmental agendas nor computing architecture road maps, must reacquaint themselves with the realities of thin client provisioning to prepare a response to the various stakeholders who are pushing for or fighting its deployment. Sourcing will take on one of three roles: playing an investigative role and interfacing between suppliers and users; mapping out the true costs of a thin-client solution; or informing others within the business of the computing and user-experience issues that a deployment will generate.
Organizations about to kick off their next major desktop hardware refreshes or upgrades will need their sourcing groups to be alert to the growing importance of green IT.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and the ever-expanding power consumption of IT systems cause buyers to raise the priority of sourcing greener, more energy-efficient forms of IT. Recently, this set of issues has begun to prompt a few lateral-thinking businesses to reexamine the value of implementing thin-client hardware to replace traditional desktop systems. Advocates point to thegains the thin-client approach offers, including lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and lower power consumption, in comparison with mainstream PC environments with supporting-server architectures. But how realistic are these claims, and what part should the sourcing professional play in resolving the thick- versus thin-client discussion?