Writing about the benefits of adopting thin clients in a business reality is not easy. Many variables must be taken into account: the sector, the number of workstations, the needs to be addressed, etc.

The basic concept is that one must always start from the context and then decide (or not) for the adoption of these devices; also because it’s not always better to prefer a thin client over a PC or another type of workstation.

But let’s go step by step. We have fully explained what a thin client is in this article but it’s always worthwhile to report a brief explanation and then contextualise it better.

A thin client is a full-fledged computer, including all the typical elements such as: CPU, RAM, physical memory, but unlike the latter, this device is often limited in its size and has unique peculiarities: it usually has no moving parts (fans, discs, etc.), has an extremely low power consumption and is able to support a limited number of applications.

Due to its intrinsic characteristics, the thin client is suitable in companies that adopt a virtualized infrastructure and maximizes its advantages in those with particularly high numbers of workstations.

Let’s see, then, what are the main benefits that the adoption of thin clients could bring to a business reality.

First of all, choosing thin clients instead of PCs or notebooks means significantly limiting the hardware investment. It’s obvious that based on your performance needs you can choose more or less performing devices that require greater investments, which can still remain below those required for new traditional PCs. Therefore, if you are in the condition in which a large company has to purchase new hardware to be added in a virtualized context, the thin clientcorresponds to a real economic saving.

Remaining in the context of cost advantage, it should be noted that these devices have almost zero energy consumption. For “office” applications and for “entry level” thin clients we talk about 3W (compared to 25/30W for a notebook). Think, therefore, of powering hundreds of workstations with a tenth of the necessary energy and multiply this value over 365 days a year; the result is an extremely low so-called Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Costs can also be reduced in other respects: longevity of the hardware and standardization and scalability of workstations. In this case, always comparing it to the PC, we speak of an average life of about five times higher, thus reducing both current and future investments in new devices. Furthermore, the scalability allows to “clone” easily and in a very short time, the configurations of a device on other “n” of the same characteristics. Think about the workstations of a call center, for example, or those of a public place such as a library where they are used to consult the catalog and the database, the concept of standardization and scalability saves time for each new workstation installed.

The limited dimensions of the thin clients make them particularly suitable for those environments where space is needed for other needs. Not necessarily offices, but also industrial applications (on production lines, for example) and kiosks (inside supermarkets or retailers).

Another benefit and fundamental aspect of this type of device is the very high degree of IT security, especially when compared to a traditional PC. In fact, having a non-writable physical memory (necessary for the operating system), no data is saved on the thin client and, in this way, it’s completely immune to attacks. A big advantage that can limit common attacks and more targeted attacks to a minimum, safeguarding the data and privacy of the company and employees and limiting the costs resulting from the rollback and interruption of production.

Finally, I would like to make particular mention of a benefit that is not so trivial and certainly not negligible, but often, unfortunately, placed in the background compared to other sought-after advantages. I’m talking about the ecological and qualitative component. In the first case, by its nature, the thin client has a much lower impact on the environment than other types of hardware, especially when comparing energy consumption. In addition, it can contribute to better air quality thanks to the total absence of moving parts (such as fans) that limit the circulation of dust, especially in closed environments.

The thin client is often a more than valid alternative to a PC or notebook. Not always of course, but often considering the countless advantages and benefits it offers (linked to a detailed evaluation of one’s business and needs) could, in the end, make a difference, both in terms of costs and in terms of quality, always with an eye on the environment around us.