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Thin is in, ‘fat’ desktops are out in insurance industry IT

Insurance industry IT managers in the UK plan to put their desktops on “diets” over the next 24 months. Research by IGEL Technology (, shows that thin and zero client adoption will increase by 19%.

Flexibility, security and speed of deployment are the main advantages of deploying thin client devices, according to the managers. Of the insurance companies recently surveyed, 78% currently run a centralized IT infrastructure.  Eighty 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%), thin and zero client deployment has risen to 20%. Other players in the arena are notebooks—23% of users prefer these—and tablets with 19% of the user base. According to the managers running insurance industry IT departments, however, thin clients will rise to 39% of desktops within two years, because of the advantages they offer in regard to flexibility (56%), improved security (46%) and speed of deployment (44%).

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%), the cost of implementation (40%) and user resistance to adoption (40%).     

Ninety-four percent of the IT managers surveyed indicated that the number of thin and zero client desktops at their company would likely or very likely increase. One third (32%) of them noted that using software to convert their existing hardware into centrally manageable thin clients is an attractive option and would very likely constitute part of their thin client expansion.

The research, conducted by Dynamic Markets on a sample of 50 UK insurance companies on behalf of IGEL Technology, also found no real preferences regarding server-based computing providers. Industry leaders Citrix, VMware and Microsoft were present in about half of the companies using thin clients.

Insurance companies that took part in the survey count multiple thin client brands among their desktop devices. Seventy percent have more than one brand, 58% use three or more brands and 28% have four or more deployed.

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