A Deloitte and Touche investigation for the Queensland Government has concluded that network computing is beneficial only to certain applications and as of yet should not be considered a viable alternative to all PC environments.
The study was conducted by Queensland-based integrators NC Data, Southmark and Tektronix in an attempt to establish a clear comparison between the "fat PC" and network computing, including issues of cost, relevance of a network to particular circumstances, and application and support demands.
The conclusions were not as supportive of a trend towards networking as appears to be the general assumption in the IT industry.
Although, for selected users network computing can reduce the total cost of ownership by up to 22 per cent. The dilemma in this case is the fact that the initial outlay to introduce this money-saving mechanism into a PC and UNIX-based system would be significant.
Then there is the added burden that you might be spending a fortune on a network that is totally irrelevant to your company's, or even your department's, needs.
According to Paul York, director, strategy and planning, department of communication and information, the Queensland government commissioned the report in an attempt to "solve the dilemma of how to drive down the cost of desktop ownership without having an adverse effect on service delivery".
In pursuit of this goal, Deloitte have determined the total cost of ownership of a managed PC in the Queensland Government. However, Deloitte sources warn that this information does not transcend the very limited boundaries of the study. Consequently, the most glaring fact to emerge from the study seems to be that networking presently has a very specific scope, and that organisations need to enter the networking frenzy a little more cautiously.