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July 15, 2014

UK firms push ahead with virtualised desktops despite usability concerns

49% of IT pros believe virtual desktop technology offers a poor user experience.

By Ben Sullivan

73% of UK organisations plan to increase their use of virtualised desktops by 2015, despite usability and migration concerns.

The figures come as independent research commissioned by UK software company AppSense found that only 20% of the firms revealed that they have no plans to increase their usage of VDs.

The survey of 100 UK IT decision makers identified that usability was the biggest challenge facing adoption of desktop virtualisation with 49% believing that the technology offered a poor user experience.

Simon Townsend, chief technologist at AppSense EMEA, said: "Desktop virtualisation is becoming an increasingly attractive options for a range of different businesses, so it is not surprising to see demand grow.

"As the technology matures, it is becoming more versatile and can help solve a number of IT management problems such as a mobile or dispersed workforce and data security.

"Migrating users to virtualised desktops can cause a lot of friction in organisations. Poor planning and lack of training or proper communication can lead to a less than satisfactory experience for users and support staff alike. It’s important for organisations to properly plan and seek specialist advice for all migrations, no matter how small, to ensure the best possible experience for all parties."

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The survey highlighted that most organisations saw a blend of both physical and virtualised desktops as the optimal strategy for desktop management with the average preferred proportion being 61% physical desktop to 39% virtual.

"Desktop virtualisation is no longer just the preserve of financial services or other data-heavy business sectors," continued Townsend.

"Adoption can transform IT processes for businesses, but modern solutions can allow organisations to gradually roll-out virtualised desktops to the parts of the business that can benefit most from the flexibility and security on offer.

"The end goal should be all about making the technology work best for the organisation and the user, and in many cases this means a blend between the physical and the virtual. There’s no rule that says you need to be 100 per cent virtual or 100 per cent physical, there are very few that these scenarios would actually suit."

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