Desktop virtualisation will dominate CIO’s challenge list in 2010

18 Sep 2009

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Whether it’s swine flu pandemics, the consumerisation of IT or the just the fact that technology is now ubiquitous, the CIO of 2010 will be focused on enabling greater flexibility for data and workers, the managing director of Citrix Ireland, UK and South Africa told siliconrepublic.com.

Speaking to siliconrepublic.com ahead of next week’s Citrix 2009 Solution Seminar at CityWest in Dublin, James Stevenson said much of the focus of chief information officers (CIOs) has been on server virtualisation.

“Server virtualisation is not a fait accompli but you could say it has reached a standard adoption rate among CIOs, where we believe the next big thing in IT will be is in the desktop virtualisation space.”

Two years ago, Citrix bought virtualisation company XenSource for US$607m and unveiled its master plan to become a US$5bn software giant.

Stevenson explained that much of the focus of CIOs in the year ahead will be on enabling workers to work from anywhere, on any device of their choice and tap into a rich media tapestry.

“CIOs will want to allow their workforce to access their work desktop on their iPhone or a netbook or on their home office PC in online or offline mode.”

He explained that Citrix’s XenApp technology allows users to obtain an "image" of their desktop at work and access in offline or online mode on any device.

Desktop virtualisation, Stevenson said, centralises, manages and improves computing, reducing storage and cuts the total cost of ownership of IT assets by 40pc.

“Users will be demanding to be mobile and if there are situations where a flu pandemic will force people to work from home, they don’t want to be missing any of the functionality they can get in the office.”

In recent months, Citrix announced with Intel its XenClient that allows CIOs to run multiple desktop computers on any laptop, mobile device or netbook the end user chooses.

“Effectively we can stream a virtual desktop onto a laptop to the user’s heart’s content and if the user goes offline and decides to come back online they can just refresh the image which is really stored in the CIO’s data centre,” Stevenson said.

According to Citrix Ireland manager Niall Gilmore, the company, which owes its origins to enabling thin client computing, it’s all about the cloud computing opportunity and this reflects Citrix’s original ethos.

“At our core is the simplicity of delivering applications from the organisation to the user. It’s our belief that in any organisation the two most valuable assets you have are your people and your information.

“People and information – the challenges today are about delivering what the end user wants and this can be by teleworking at home, remote access via the device in your hand or driving green IT initiatives,” Gilmore said.

By John Kennedy

Citrix will be holding its 2009 Solution Seminar at CityWest Hotel, Saggart, on Thursday, 24 September. Click here for more information.

Photo: CIOs will be focusing on enabling workers to work from anywhere, on any device, says James Stevenson, managing director of Citrix Ireland, UK and South Africa.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com