The global thin client market is anticipated to exhibit remarkable growth on account of growing need for reducing total ownership costs. Thin client are the devices based on client-server architecture. They can be utilized as a virtual desktop to control and monitor the processes in the work environment. These devices are also used as an alternative to fat clients (PCs or laptops) as they reduce maintenance, installation, and upgrade costs. In addition, benefits, including increased flexibility, agility, energy optimization, better operational efficiency, and low cost can boost the demand for thin clients over fat clients in the coming years. For instance, HP Inc. introduced a HP t430 Thin Client that offers a sleek, modern, and well-connected device suitable for desktop virtualization or cloud-first end user computing. It is designed for tasks requiring flexibility for dedicated and shared environments. The single cable USB-C of HP t430 resolves issues of traditional thin client systems that require different cable for delivering data, audio, and video.
Adoption of workspace-as-a-service (WaaS) in various organizations is expected to increase in the years to come. WaaS is a kind of desktop virtualization that is used by companies to provide their staff with access to applications remotely. Employees can operate these types of virtual desktop solutions similar to their actual physical office desktop. Such solutions offer several advantages, including better accessibility to employees and improved productivity. This, in turn, has accelerated the demand for cloud-based as a service solution over on premise (servers or workstations) across organizations. These solutions assist in resolving the issue of geographical accessibility for employees. Implementation of thin client solutions can also offer better security benefits as they restrict users from any intervention in local machine setting. This makes the system more secure and protected. For instance, Fujitsu launched new enterprise models for three product series in the Fujitsu Thin Client FUTRO lineup. The company added the FUTRO S740, which is an ultra-small model with an updated framework. The FUTRO MU937 and the FUTRO MA576, notebook series which include Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB. These products offer solutions for security risks related to unauthorized access on account of third-party identity fraud and data leaks caused by external devices, such as USB memory stick. SMART ACCESS, an integrated authentication software, prevents unauthorized access due to leak of a user’s id or password, and third-party identity threats by personal authentication using fingerprints or palm veins.
However, presence of network lags in emerging countries for cloud computing is a key restraint in the market. In addition, user resistance has identified that thin client restricts the capabilities of PCs, such as access to USB or CD drives.
Different types of thin client solutions include hardware, desktop based, mobile based, and services. End-users include banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), healthcare, retail, manufacturing, IT and telecom, education, and transportation and logistics. Demand for thin clients is increasing mainly in the healthcare and education sectors due to growing need for replacing old computers with a single system. The education sector is likely to show high growth in the years to come. Various educational institutions, such as colleges, labs, research institutes, are increasingly implementing thin client to control monitors centrally at IT control department and reduce energy consumption. The device also decreases the cost of system upgrade and time consumed in setting the PC or laptop at each login.
North America holds the largest share in the market due to presence of key players. Increasing adoption of cloud technology and availability of active and flexible IT support are likely to boost regional market growth. Europe is expected to grow steadily in the coming years. Asia Pacific is likely to witness the fastest growth in the years to come due to growing adoption of cloud technology and constant technological developments. Countries, such as India, China, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and Korea, are anticipated to contribute significantly to regional market growth owing to increase in the demand for these solutions.
Some of the prominent vendors operating in the thin client market are NComputing Co. Ltd.; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Acer Inc.; and VXL Technology.
Research Support Specialist, USA