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Jan 04, 2011

CDW Poll: Cost Reduction and Productivity Goals Will Drive 82 Percent of Businesses to Client Virtualization within Two Years

CDW Poll: Cost Reduction and Productivity Goals Will Drive 82 Percent of Businesses to Client Virtualization within Two YearsVERNON HILLS, Ill. – January 4, 2011 – CDW LLC (CDW), a leading provider of technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare, today released the findings of its Client Virtualization Straw Poll. The report finds that 90 percent of medium and large businesses are considering or implementing at least one form of client virtualization. Driven by the promise of reduced costs and improved operation efficiency, 91 percent of that group plan to implement a client virtualization solution within the next 12-24 months. This is despite the potential for bumps in the road, as almost all respondents (97 percent) say they have faced challenges, although many of them are not related to the technology itself, including getting management behind the initiative, training end-users and ensuring the technology will work on an individual level.

The poll surveyed 200 Information Technology (IT) managers at U.S. businesses larger than 100 employees to understand what is driving the three major categories of client virtualization: presentation, application and desktop virtualization. Client virtualization enables organizations to centrally manage end-user software applications, which in turn provides better mobile computing opportunities, stronger network security and more efficient use of IT resources. Sixty percent of respondents cite reduction of hardware, support and management costs as their primary driver for implementing or considering client virtualization.

“Client virtualization can help organizations achieve savings of more than 20 percent of their IT budget, according to the businesses we surveyed that have implemented and are tracking ROI. It is a viable and valuable solution,” said Doug Eckrote, CDW senior vice president, strategic solutions and services. “At issue is that organizations underestimate the complexity of deploying client virtualization. The survey results find that it is still worth pursuing,” continued Eckrote. “In our experience, with sufficient up-front analysis, education and testing, organizations can greatly reduce their deployment challenges.”

In addition to reducing costs, respondents report that client virtualization eases the software distribution process (40 percent), increases IT productivity (38 percent) and improves IT support (37 percent). Despite the expected benefits, businesses report a number of challenges to launching client virtualization, including a lack of preparation:

  • Only 58 percent of respondents say that IT management understands how to implement client virtualization
  • Just 35 percent say their business is appropriately staffed and trained to implement

Of the businesses that have implemented client virtualization, a total of 97 percent experienced challenges:

  • 46 percent reported issues with the technology working on an individual level
  • 41 percent had trouble estimating ROI
  • 33 percent had challenges training their end users to use the new systems

“The Client Virtualization Straw Poll finds that 59 percent of businesses say client virtualization is an equally or more important initiative compared to server virtualization,” said Eckrote. “Organizations need to know, however, that client virtualization is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. As these challenges reflect, there are a variety of approaches, so it is crucial for management to define IT and business priorities and train their staff to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.”

Respondents offer the following advice to peers considering client virtualization:

  • “Plan for use beyond scope, such as supporting video capabilities”
  • “Test every application thoroughly to ensure it will work correctly in the environment”
  • “Ensure comprehensive training for multiple layers of the organization”
  • “Security issues have to be addressed up-front”
  • “Build a hard ROI around cost savings and you will have a winner”

For a copy of the complete Client Virtualization Straw Poll, which includes recommendations for successful implementation, please visit For more about CDW’s client virtualization capabilities and offerings, please visit

About CDW
CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government, education and healthcare. Ranked No. 38 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s technology specialists offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions. CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 6,200 coworkers. In 2009, the company generated sales of approximately $7.2 billion. For more information, visit