The Future is Cloudy for Desktop Virtualization

August, 2016

Adoption rates remain low for desktop virtualization solutions, and the cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) evolution may be causing disruption in the use of this technology.

As shown in Figure 2 from our full report, Desktop Virtualization Adoption Trends and Customer Experience, 30% of organizations have adopted virtual desktops in 2016, which is down from 35% in 2015.

DeskVI Fig 2 - The Future is Cloudy for Desktop Virtualization

After an initial burst of experimentation with desktop virtualization, adoption seems to be cooling along with the customer experience. Adopters turned to desktop virtualization to lower the cost and complexity of managing desktops and to improve security and the mobile experience. However, other technologies, including cloud applications and SaaS, have allowed a similar user experience without a full virtual desktop by serving the app across any desktop instead of serving the entire desktop.

“Some companies are finding success with desktop virtualization,” said Tom Dunlap, director of research for Computer Economics, Irvine, Calif. “But other organizations are finding ways to deliver the mobile experience and reduce infrastructure without having to make the network investments that full-blown desktop virtualization requires. It remains to be seen how much the growth of desktop virtualization is effected, but increased options make its future cloudy.”

The full report provides an overview of the key desktop virtualization concepts, identifies the top vendors, and presents data on adoption and investment trends. We report on how many organizations have the technology in place, how many are in the process of implementing it, and how many are expanding implementations. We present overall adoption and investment rates and adoption and investment rates by organization size. We also look at the return on investment (ROI) experience, total cost of ownership (TCO) experience of adopters, and which solutions are the most popular. We conclude with recommendations.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Desktop Virtualization Adoption Trends and Customer Experience. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).