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News Release

Thin End of the Wedge? Research on UK Housing Association Desktop IT Strategy

Improved management and security with reduced costs are key benefits, report IT Managers
Released: 12th November 2013
Publisher: IGEL

Reading, UK November 12th, 2013 UK Housing Associations are adopting a thin client desktop infrastructure to improve management and security while cutting costs, industry research has revealed.

60% of UK Housing Associations are using thin clients, with 43% of these associations using them for more than 90% of their desktops. In addition, 28% said that were very likely to increase their thin client usage in the next 24 months by buying more devices or by converting their existing desktops to thin clients.

Primary benefits reported46% of IT Managers believe central management is the primary benefit of a thin client infrastructure, citing ease of management and greater control. 42% stated cost as a key benefit including cost of support, ownership and lower costs of replacing outdated machines. Improved security resulting from greater control of employee access to data was the third main advantage reported by 32% of respondents to the research, conducted by Winmark on a sample of 50 UK Housing Associations on behalf of IGEL Technology.

Housing Association desktop and infrastructure landscapeLarger Housing Associations, with housing stocks of more than 1000, are using thin clients much more than smaller Housing Associations. With 76% of staff at larger Housing Associations using thin clients compared to 25% at the smaller Housing Associations.

Citrix was the primary server-based computing or virtual desktop software provider with a dominant 63% of the associations surveyed, VMware followed with 23% and Microsoft Terminal Services with 17%.

Of those that use thin or zero clients, the dominant providers are Dell Wyse with 46%, followed by HP with 23% and IGEL Technology with a 17% share.

Future challengesWhen asked about future desktop challenges, IT managers reported that on average 15% of their users currently have a need to regularly use multimedia services and they saw this figure rising to 24% of users over the next 24 months.

Perceived barriers to thinThe top three barriers reported by IT managers were Continuity (26%), Flexibility (24%) and Connection issues (22%). With Continuity, respondents were concerned about a technology outage resulting in all staff being unable to work. Flexibility issues referred to concerns about the ability to convert all software applications for a server-based or virtual desktop environment. Connection issues referred to concerns about the level of bandwidth required to successfully deploy an efficient server-based or virtual desktop solution.

“This research demonstrates an IT maturity and depth of understanding of the desktop infrastructure by the IT managers of the UK’s Housing Associations,” said Simon Richards, IGEL Technology Managing Director for UK & Ireland. “The research found that the experience of those that have deployed thin clients is very positive. The largest organizations, in particular, have embraced the benefits a centrally managed desktop infrastructure with thin clients can offer. We look forward to benchmarking the results against next year’s survey to understand if these trends are replicated across the entire sector.”

The research findings will be discussed further at the IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition at Olympia Conference Centre in London from November 19-20. For an executive summary of the research findings visit IGEL Technology at the conference at Stand 8 or go to:

Further information (external website)

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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
T: +44 (0)190 888 0760 | F: +44 (0)190 888 0761