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GCN : September 2013
Sponsored Report For more government agencies, desktop virtualization is proving to be the right solution at the right time, according to a recent survey conducted by the 1105 Government Information Group. The technology, which makes it possible to deploy, manage and optimize virtual desktops, applica- tions and user data from a central console, can help agencies extend desktop computing resources to a wide range of users securely and cost effectively. Security is a primary concern. End users increasingly are looking to access applications and data from outside the of ce -- and often using their own devices, whether that's a laptop computer, tablet or smart phone. Virtualization is appealing in such an environment because applications and data can be stored centrally, not on the device itself, limiting the damage when a device is lost or stolen. It is not surprising, then, that the survey of federal, state and local information technology profession- als found that 68 percent of respon- dents said the promise of stronger security was a very important con- sideration, with another 27 percent saying it was somewhat important. (See chart.) Case in point: The Navy plans to test the use of desktop virtualiza- tion as part of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet program. According to an August 2013 memo from Navy Chief Information Of cer Terry A. Halvorsen, one of the primary bene ts of the Hosted Virtual Desktop initiative is that the depart- ment can provide secure access to resources through government- and employee-furnished devices. Another concern is the long-term costs of managing this increasingly complex environment. As the num- ber and range of devices continue to grow, IT shops can nd themselves needing more employees to keep up with user requirements, which can be an expensive move. Virtualization can help keep those costs in check because the applica- tions and data are stored, adminis- tered and upgraded locally. For 60 percent of respondents, lowering the total cost of ownership was a very important bene t, with another 36 percent saying it was somewhat important. "With the effects of sequestration still being felt, the Department of Navy continues to look for innova- tive ways to decrease information technology spending," Halvorsen wrote in announcing the program. Of cials at the Homeland Secu- rity Department are thinking along the same lines. In a speech last May, then-CIO Richard Spires said the department's workplace-as-a- service initiative would reduce the money needed to support desktop computers and bolster DHS' mobile strategy. In fact, according to the Obama administration's scal 2014 budget request, DHS expects to save more than $150 million be- tween scal 2012 and scal 2016. The survey found that 35 percent said their agencies had fully imple- mented desktop virtualization, with another 30 percent in the process of deploying it and 26 percent investigating it. Only 9 percent said their agencies had no interest in the technology. FULL REPORT ONLINE, Go to www.gcn.com/2013VirtPubSector TRENDS & TECHNOLOGIES DRIVING STRONGER SECURITY ............................................. 68% LOWER TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP ................... 60% BETTER SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS CONTINUITY .... 60% EASIER TO UPGRADE .............................................. 59% HIGH AVAILABILITY................................................... 58% EASIER TO MANAGE ................................................ 58% % of respondents identifying each potential bene t as being very important to their agencies Source: 1105 Government Information Group