Opportunity for thin clients grows fat

Analysts at IDC are forecasting worldwide shipments of 8.7 million thin client solutions by 2005. They are also predicting that vendors of enterprise level thin client solutions could use the weakening U.S. economy to strengthen their position.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  June 28, 2001

Analysts at IDC are forecasting worldwide shipments of 8.7 million thin client solutions by 2005. They are also predicting that vendors of enterprise level thin client solutions could use the weakening U.S. economy to strengthen their position. Apparently, vendors have the opportunity to hammer home the key benefits of their products: low total cost of ownership (TCO) and a high return on investment (ROI).

"The economic downturn is causing many large corporations to slash their IT budgets. Many IT managers have much less money to spend and are re-evaluating their options and considering thin clients," says Bob O'Donnell, director of IDC's device technology research.

"The TCO benefits of thin clients resonate more soundly in the current economic conditions," he adds.

Worldwide shipments of enterprise thin clients are currently on the verge of breaking the 1 million barrier. According to IDC, they reached 900,000 in 2000, and before this year is over they will surpass 1.3 million. The analyst house believes that if the industry does a good job educating the market, shipments will earn an increase just short of 10 times their 2000 volume, bringing them to the predicted 8.7 million in 2005.

"Right now thin client vendors have the opportunity to get in the door of large organisations. Once the economy begins to recover, they should be able to exploit this opportunity and begin large-scale deployments to replace PCs," says O'Donnell.

"In an era when overall IT infrastructures are getting denser and more complex, IT managers are crying out for simplified, straightforward solutions. If thin client vendors clearly communicate their products' simplicity and ease of management, they should be in good position," he concludes.

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