“A lot can be achieved with desktop virtualisation in terms of configuration, and we are testing to see if it is viable. There are benefits to holding data centrally, which is key to local government where, for example, you have social workers with laptops.”
Dawson believes that changing the way the user interface works is a bigger challenge than server virtualisation. “We have had Citrix for many years, and it has taken a long time to get it right and match the look and feel of systems people are familiar with at home, such as Vista and XP.”
Virtualisation looks set to transform how IT is delivered throughout organisations – from a piecemeal addressing of business units to a process-driven architecture. The technology provides an unrivalled opportunity for CIOs to align themselves with the business and consolidate their position at the heart of the enterprise.
Virtualisation with your eyes open
Nobody doubts that virtualisation -offers an extraordinarily powerful way to -address server sprawl, server acquisition cost, -power draw and space constraints. -However, there are potential drawbacks.
Software licensing: Enterprise software has yet to catch up with the changes being wrought by virtualisation, so watch out for the possibility of punitive tariffs from vendors that charge per processor, or per instance of software.
New demands: Users accustomed to faster provisioning are unlikely to reduce demands on a more responsive IT -department.
Management challenges: CIOs and their staff will have to adapt to -virtualisation in terms of understanding new -vendors, -integration with existing kit and -undergoing training to gain new skills.