Desktop PCs, though still dominant in the information technology infrastructure at U.K.-based insurers, are rapidly giving way to alternative platforms.
So concludes IGEL Technology in the “Thin is in! The IT Desktop Strategy in the U.K. Insurance Industry” survey. Conducted by Dynamic Markets, the survey polled 50 U.K. insurance companies representatives — owners/founders (9 percent), C-level executives (26 percent), directors (23 percent), senior managers (29 percent) and middle managers (13 percent) — all of whom have full or partial responsibility for the desktop IT infrastructure at their companies.
The survey shows that nearly 8 in 10 insurance companies (78 percent) currently run a centralized IT infrastructure. And 80 percent of these organizations have at least some thin or zero client desktops deployed. While PCs still dominate the desktop landscape (they’re at 42 percent), thin/zero client deployment has risen to 20 percent.
Thin/zero clients are computers or software programs that depend on an enterprise- or cloud-based server to carry out their functions. Traditional “fat clients” like PCs, in contrast, rely on their own hardware.
Other platforms cited by the IGEL include notebooks (23 percent of users prefer these) and tablets with 19 percent of the user base. IGEL expects, however, that thin clients will rise to 39 percent of desktops by 2017 because of the advantages they offer in regard to flexibility (56 percent), improved security (46 percent) and speed of deployment (44 percent).
Despite the near doubling of thin and zero client deployment predicted, obstacles to broader adoption remain. Primary among these are concern over user frustration if the system goes down (42 percent), the cost of implementation (40 percent) and user resistance to adoption (40 percent).