I was recently having a conversation with Dizzion about their pretty neat virtual desktop solution. As a tech guy that has rolled out hundreds of desktops in healthcare practices, I find the evolution towards virtual desktop solutions really interesting. I remember the horrors of imaging hundreds of desktop computers and having to implement them across our entire organization. This would have been so much easier and better with a great virtual desktop solution.
While I find this evolution really amazing, I couldn’t help but ask if the desktop was going to die. In our personal lives, desktops are largely starting to fade as we spend more and more time on our mobile devices and less and less time on our desktop computers. Ironically, my mother-in-law has already made this switch while I’m still reluctant to give up my full keyboard and dual monitors. Regardless, there’s still a clear shift to mobile solutions like tablets and smartphones.
In response to my question about whether the desktop was dead (or at least dying), Dizzion commented that the desktop will survive for quite a while thanks to security and regulations. Given the regulations in healthcare and many IT shops feelings towards HIPAA, I think that they’re right. The desktop isn’t going anywhere in healthcare. It’s going to be with us for a long time to come. However, I do think that desktops have become a commodity solution. There’s very little strategic advantage to how you roll out desktops to your organization.
Dizzion did also comment that mobile devices are better consumption devices. Desktops are better at entering information. That’s still very true today, but will it be in the future? Between voice recognition and effective touch screen interfaces, I think that will eventually change. Although, that’s certainly not the reality today.
What do you think about the future of desktops? Are they dying or will they have a long life in healthcare?