Revisiting thin clients
By John Clingan on Mar 12, 2006
Paul Murphy has an blog entry on replacing laptops with Sun Rays, and gives some reasoning of how to go about gaining acceptance. One of the reader comments hits two fallicies in one fell swoop.
- I don't want a Telco to tell me what I can and cannot do on MY system. The context Paul gave was one of business ownership of assets, not individual ownership. The individual doesn't own the laptop, the company does. As such, the company has the right to manage its assets as it sees fit. Unfortunately, with today's regular use of the asset, on goes customer data (huge risk). On goes company data (risk). The issue, of course, is that everyone still thinks the laptop is theirs and acts like it is theirs. On goes mp3 player of choice (risk), on goes game of choice (risk), off goes the firewall which interferes with game of choice (risk). And so on. Since the mid 1980's employees have taken ownership of company assets while the risk is still owned by the employer. The cost of non-compliance and of losing customer data is rapidly approaching (if not already surpassing) the cost of losing employees to strict "mobile computing" policies. Just an opinion, no empirical evidence.
- Probably takes about 5 minutes to load your desktop, even more when the internet is 'bussy'. This comment is given out of ignorance of where thin clients and networks are today. At Sun, we have empirical evidence to the contrary. Many use thin clients from home successfully. At Sun, we've found that using thin clients to access a (logically) centralized architecture is faster than transferring documents back & forth between the data center, office and laptop./LI>
The only thing holding me back is access from Starbucks, and this is the problem. It seems as if something is always holding somebody back. If thin clients are going to happen, IMHO it'll be niche by niche until the market starts dealing with thin clients as the rule instead of the exception.