A third of enterprises are looking to move to desktop virtualisation according to research from desktop services specialist Centrix. More than three-quarters of the respondents said that cost reduction was the prime driver for the move to the technology.

According to Lewis Gee, vice president sales and marketing at Centrix said that emphasis on cost reduction was surprising. "I think a couple of years ago, customers were looking to improve the desktop experience, but perhaps as a result of the economic situation, companies have been looking to cut costs."

Gee said that this was not as straightforward as it might be. "The problem with cost reduction is that it's very hard to calculate cost savings because companies tend to take a ‘lift and drop' approach to desktop virtualisation where they move all users to the technology regardless whether it's the best approach." He added that companies should take a more measured approach and identify the appropriate candidates for desktop virtualisation. "It won't be appropriate for everyone," he said. Some users are good candidates for VDI , some people want thick applications on their desktop, some might benefit from more traditional terminal services," said Gee.

The other aspect of desktop virtualisation is that customers are more aware of the differing technologies said Gee. "They now know that VDI is not the only game in town," he added.

He pointed out that organisations can expect problems in the future as desktop virtualisation becomes more prevalent with companies having to deal with the management and performance issues generated by growing use of the technology.

Analysts endorse this thinking. "Managing a changing infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges that companies will face as they move forward," commented Roy Illsley, senior analyst at Ovum. "Organisations deploying more than one application model should look at how they can bring together multiple application streams and manage them in a technology agnostic framework. By aggregating their applications together into one environment, companies can pick and choose the application delivery methods that best suit their needs at any one time, ensure cost reduction promises are met and that the user experience is the same whatever back-end infrastructure is used."

Read the views of analysts Freeform Dynamics here.