Before deploying thin clients, my team and I did our homework. We read the literature, looked at case studies and talked to manufacturers and users. Now, after a few months of piloting, my only wish is that we had started using them sooner. The cost savings are better than I ever imagined, our maintenance work is a fraction of what it was, and our users couldn’t be happier.
My company, Energy Recovery, makes a device that reduces the energy used by water pumps in the desalinization process (turning seawater into fresh water) by up to 97 percent. There’s a huge demand for our product, and to keep pace with growth, we’re moving to a manufacturing facility that’s triple the size of our existing one.
About a year ago, we deployed a Citrix XenApp  application delivery system across standard computers, but we didn’t see many advantages. We considered using thin clients, but because our infrastructure was already built out, we didn’t think it would be cost effective.
For the new manufacturing facility, I wanted to keep down hardware costs and solve our ever-present challenge of keeping computers clean on the manufacturing floor. We looked at thin clients, brought some in for testing, and the feedback has been incredibly positive.
Users love them because they don’t even have to see the machines, much less worry about keeping them clean and protected. We bolted them under desks and behind beams and connected them to flat-screen monitors. IT employees love them because they don’t have to trek out to the manufacturing floor whenever there’s a problem. They can just log on to the machines remotely.
If you’re wondering whether thin clients are right for your business, here are some things to consider:
If you’re still not sure whether thin clients are for you, take another look. With the cost savings we’re seeing, this would have made sense even if we weren’t moving to a new facility. Like I said, my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.