For all the great talk about saving money by moving to cloud computing models or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), you can't help but wonder if economics are really driving these trends or whether something else is at work.
The deeper we get into these topics, the more it seems like the specter of losing data is driving as much of the interest in new enterprise computing paradigms as anything else. Of course, IT organizations can still lose data residing in the data center, a fact that Microsoft has been able to prove on multiple occasions.
But as one CIO put it recently, employees can't lose data they never had in the first place. As part of an effort to reduce the risks associated with laptops running any type of operating system, more IT organizations are giving serious thought to thin clients and netbooks as a means to reduce their risks.
This may not be the most popular choice with everyday road warriors, but the fact remains that there is enough pressure being mounted by regulatory agencies and various government organizations in the form of fines that IT organizations are looking for new alternatives that limit the actual amount of data that can be lost.
These days, when an employee loses a laptop, the costs involved go far beyond replacing the device. And as those costs start to mount, the questions from on high start to get asked about what can be done to limit those costs. For a lot of companies, the answer to that question is going to be some form of server-based computing that makes the client little more than a device for viewing data that is owned, managed and retained somewhere on the other side of a network connection.