Should your business invest in thin clients?

Should your business invest in thin clients?

Are you planning to buy new computers for your team? You'll need a huge budget if you issue them full-fledged PCs. Alternatively, you can provide them with thin clients to save on costs.

What are thin clients?

Thin clients are lightweight versions of traditional PCs, having only one processor and no hard drive and memory storage. Given their minimal construction, thin clients rely on a centralized remote server for processing and storing data. They simply capture the user's keystrokes and mouse clicks, pass these on to the server for processing, then transmit the server’s output to the user’s monitor, speakers, or other media.

What are the advantages of using thin clients?

There are plenty of benefits that come with deploying thin clients for your employees:

  • Reduced hardware costs – Because of their limited hardware components, thin clients are significantly less expensive than regular PCs.
  • Easier setup and maintenance – It's easy to set up and maintain thin clients since they usually don’t have moving parts that can break or malfunction. They also do not require software updates. With thin clients having fewer maintenance requirements, IT staff are freed up to work on other tasks.
  • Easier management – Administrators can easily enroll devices, deploy security protocols, and distribute applications from the data center. They don't have to disrupt your users since IT admins can do these tasks without touching the end users' side of the system.
  • Lower energy costs – The energy consumption of a single PC can be equivalent to that of 50 thin clients’.
  • Quiet working environment – Unlike PCs, thin clients do not have cooling fans. This allows thin clients to run silently, making the users’ environment more conducive to focusing on work.
  • Less risk of malware – Since all data processing is centralized in one server, it’s easier to secure your system from viruses and malware. This also prevents users from installing unvetted and unsecured programs on their computers.
  • More control over company data – Since thin clients lack internal memory, users are restricted to only uploading data onto the server rather than saving it directly on the device. This makes monitoring for potential data breaches much simpler, as IT administrators just need to look after one central server.

What are the drawbacks of thin clients?

Like with any IT solution, using thin clients has its disadvantages:

  • Risk of slow performance or downtime – If your server is not powerful enough, it could get overwhelmed by too many requests, which can lead to performance issues or even downtime for thin client users. And if the server or its connection to thin clients goes down, all of your thin clients will become unusable, preventing users from getting any work done.
  • Restricted computing power – A server's computing power is split between a defined number of thin clients. This limits thin client users to non-resource-intensive tasks, such as surfing the web, reading and writing emails, and creating documents. They won't be able to use thin clients for resource-heavy tasks such as editing photos and videos.
  • Limited device mobility – Thin clients aren’t ideal for remote workers since for these to be usable, thin clients will constantly require an internet connection to access the server.

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Should your company use thin clients?

It depends on the specific needs of your organization. Thin clients are suitable for office workers who just need basic computing capabilities, such as typing documents and making presentations. However, if you require more robust applications like 3D design or video editing, then you’ll need traditional PCs to support such apps.

If you think thin clients are the right choice for your business, consider investing in a powerful server to ensure that all your thin client users have a smooth experience.

outsourceIT’s team of certified and experienced IT professionals can plan and roll out thin clients and/or full-fledged PCs for your company. When you work with us, you can expect excellent service and fast response times. Get a FREE consultation with us today.

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