Small Business VDI Market to Reach $430M by 2015

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted August 24, 2012

Small and midsized businesses (SMB) are poised to lend some spark to the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) market in the near future, according to a new forecast from Techaisle.

The American small business desktop virtualization market will balloon to $430 million by 2015, predicts the SMB technology research group. It's a figure that is more than triple the size of today's market ($132 million).

The midsized market (100-499 employees) is the sweet spot, says Techaisle. According to the firm, "mid-market VDI penetration to grow rapidly to 12 percent by 2015 and the number of VDI seats to grow at a CAGR of 45 percent to 2.7 million."

A host of factors are fueling VDI growth among the small business set. Techaisle identified cost reduction and security as big drivers. And as is quickly becoming the norm across the IT landscape, "bring your own device" (BYOD) access to applications and data ranks high among SMB priorities.

A majority of SMBs (58 percent) like to keep their VDI infrastructures in-house. Meanwhile, cloud VDI offerings are popular among very small businesses, reports Techaisle, while the burgeoning VDI-in-a-box solutions market is primed for "consistent planned usage across all segments."

Early VDI adoption is strong among select industry verticals. These include healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and professional business services.

Despite these rosy projections and encouraging adoption scenarios, the data suggest that vendors could do a better job of attracting the attention of SMBs.

Are VDI Vendors Missing the Mark?

VDI awareness is low among SMBs, according to Techaisle.

Just 5 percent of businesses with one to 19 employees have the technology on their radar. The figure jumps to 42 percent for businesses with 50 to 99 workers. The firm also suggests that deployment complexity threatens to inhibit VDI market growth.

But there are hints that the industry is stepping up its game.

In May, Dell teamed with Unidesk to bring VDI to small business environments. Earlier, the company made a splash with three VDI offerings aimed at speeding deployments, particularly for SMBs.

The company's preconfigured DVS Simplified Appliance bundles feature a rack-mount PowerEdge server, Citrix VDI-in-a-Box v5.0 and Citrix XenServer v5.6 SP2. Earlier this year, Small Business Computing reviewer, Joe Moran, gave Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 high marks.

Moran writes, "Setting up a VDI is far from a trivial undertaking, but VDI-in-a-Box manages to do a very good job of distilling the complexity inherent in the technology down into a very manageable package -- one that a generalist IT manager familiar with imaging and virtualization technology should be comfortable with."

"Any small business IT department with plans to replace a sizable number of PCs in the near future would do well to give VDI-in-a-Box a close look," concludes Moran.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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