Green IT: Thin client savings in support, not capital

Reduced support time required by thin clients allow IT managers to focus on other business priorities.

Small businesses transitioning to thin clients may not find the biggest cost savings in capital expenditure, according to PCConsultants managing director, Peter Caron.

Speaking at the Green IT virtual conference, Caron said that initial hardware costs make up a smaller percentage of the total cost of ownership of a PC than most IT managers think. As a result, while capital expenditure may be reduced over time, it isn't a quick win.

Instead, Caron pointed to reduced support costs as a key incentive for small businesses of between 20 and 100 employees to look to thin clients as an option. 

"These are due to optimised and centralised software distribution management as well as reducing risks of downtime due to viruses and other security hazards," he said, adding that the reduced support time would allow IT managers to focus on other business priorities.

Energy savings are, of course, a mainstay in the case for going thing - statistics provided by Caron show that workstations make up a total of 90 per cent of a business' total power use, something which is easily reduced by transitioning to thin clients or even re-purposing fully configured PCs to work in a virtualised environment. 

While Caron acknowledged the limits of thin clients in performance computing, he said that, provided businesses cautiously considered a transition, it was an easily viable solution for small businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Are you looking to move to thin clients? If not, what's holding you back?

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