Why VDI is an 8% Solution Reason #10: Windows is on less than 20% of devices

by Amitabh Sinha on Oct 14, 2014 3:23:00 AM

In 2005, IT used to own and manage the majority (60-70%) of the devices available to enterprise users. Roughly half the PCs in the world and most of the Blackberries in the world.

Today that number looks starkly different. Phones and tablets account for 1.24 billion device shipments in 2013, while PCs accounted for 315 million. So PCs account for about 20% of the devices out there.

That number looks even worse for PCs in 2017. The forecast is that 2.17 billion phones and tablets will ship in 2017, while PC shipments will account for 320 million. So PC shipments will fall to about 12% of all the devices in the world. A larger fraction of these PCs will also be running MacOS.

shipments 2017 Device Shipments in 2013 and 2017 forecast

IT needs to figure out a way to deliver apps and data securely to all these devices whether company or employee owned. Since the vast majority of these devices won't be running Windows and are likely to be employee owned, the meta-question is why should IT invest in 2nd order solutions for Windows like VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)?

When VDI was perceived to be a solution for the problem of device heterogeneity it made sense to invest the resources to explore the solution. But today the consensus view is that VDI is a niche solution.

Unless there is a compelling business reason to deploy VDI (and there are good reasons in about 10% of the cases), IT should explore how to solve the problem with the assumption that a significantly smaller chunk of their world is going to be Windows.

We've seen here that the percentage of devices running Windows is small, and rapidly decreasing. VDI is thus a 2nd order solution, for an ever decreasing portion of the enterprise employee base. So this highlights yet another reason why VDI is only an 8% solution. Want to learn more?


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This post was written by Amitabh Sinha

Amitabh has more than twenty years of experience across enterprise software, end user computing, mobile, and database software. Amitabh co-founded Workspot with Puneet Chawla and Ty Wang in August 2012. Prior to Workspot, Amitabh was the General Manager for Enterprise Desktops and Apps at Citrix Systems. In his five years at Citrix, Amitabh was VP Product Management for XenDesktop and VP Engineering for the Advanced Solutions Group. Amitabh has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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