16/06/09

Staring Into The Abyss Gets Us Nowhere!

By Jamil Aboulzelof, Netvoyager

First, the bad news, latest quarterly survey reveals IT is facing a decline with jobs and salaries falling to levels last seen back in 2003.

However, there are some trends that are promising a brighter future. Investment in innovation and smarter IT solutions is surprisingly robust. IT directors are spending more time and resources on IT projects to cast technology more than ever as a driver of growth and cost cutting.

The fundamentals of IT driven solutions have not changed, with objectives still being on the high list in the agenda is to cut operational IT costs (non headcount), reduce environmental impact but with a real return on investment (RoI) and widen access to corporate systems and enhance security.

With the news littered with theft and security stories such as USA – $100,000 worth of Laptops, computers stolen from two schools, Australia – Five arrested over laptop theft, UK – Another day, another MoD data gaffe, Two-thirds of British businesses have been victims of cybercrime in the past year according to the CBI, Mystery computer virus brings down Royal Navy email systems and in New Zealand – Children Outraged by Computer Theft, there must be a better solution that covers all IT issues, brings in optimisation and fits with the Green IT agenda.

Thin clients are the answer, and IT decision makers are now starting to take it seriously more than ever. Across the pond, our peers have embraced it significantly and are starting to reap the benefits with immediate affect, that is why North America will start to recover economically before we do in Europe, due to their aggressive adoption to change and more importantly investment in the right IT solutions.

Using thin clients and server-based computing such as terminal services or Citrix, the fight against viruses and malware threats are limited to the centralised systems, which are easier to manage, maintain or quarantine the physical or virtual server. This is just one of the many benefits that thin clients bring to the corporate or educational environment.

Cyber crime will always be there, but to prepare for it and contain it using technology methods such as thin clients, will mean more effective defence strategy against these threats.

The security market is worth 44 billion dollars, and little if any of that will be channelled towards boosting business efficiency. The traditional motivations for purchasing security products are cyber crime threats, fear and compliance. There are smarter and more cost effective ways to eliminate threats at the desktop. It is diabolical to hear from some of our partners that they are busy on a project for a London council constantly dealing with virus management and control system, and encrypting desktop and laptop disks and the constant issues relating to retrieving data from encrypted systems of which the keys have been lost or damaged. This project is costing close to £2m per year, when converting to thin clients and server based computing will cost a quarter of that and bring in many more benefits.

Finally as thin clients connect to centralised systems that also store the data, security is built-in to the centralised systems, and furthermore no security risk occurs if desktop disks crash or desktops are stolen or recycled, thus complying to UK law requirements.

Thin client technology provides the opportunity to remove costs without damaging the business flow. To wrap all the above benefits, Green IT and reduction of energy consumption by 80% is the icing on the cake.

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