Desktop Transformation Lessons Learned – Business Case, Part 3

By Greg LaVigne

I have a few final perspectives to share related to Desktop
Transformation business case development.  
Previously, I discussed the merits of performing a detailed use case
analysis as well as application rationalization exercises early on so the
findings and recommendations can be used as a part of the business case
development. I then outlined using an investment perspective as opposed to
simply a cost savings approach. Here are a few more ideas for you to consider:

  • Be broad in your thinking and discussion.
    Desktop Transformation can include many different pieces and parts. In putting
    together the business case understand which components will comprise your
    overall implementation at the end of the day, so that they ALL can be included
    in the discussion up front. 
  • Be sure to use the “program” umbrella
    perspective as opposed to a single “project”. The reality is with all the
    moving parts and components, you’ll be dealing with many different projects,
    each with their own “waves” or phases of implementation.
  • Often times, I hear about organizations that
    focus on gaining budgetary approval for a traditional VDI POC implementation project
    or a separate thin client adoption initiative. Then perhaps pursue a third
    business case approval for an application virtualization implementation for the
    existing managed PC fleet. A true Desktop Transformation vision includes the integration
    of many of these technology options. In providing the flexibility your end
    users want and will get once they migrate to your solution, they’ll continue to
    ask for more. This will result in additional hybrid technology scenarios down
    the road. You’ll want to understand (to the degree possible) what some of those
    will be and which ones you may allow or facilitate. While I understand the need
    to keep scope narrow for the idea of keeping a potential expenditure number
    more palatable, the reality is you’re not representing the entire vision.
  • This becomes important as some of the components
    are not an easy sell by themselves. Take User Profile Virtualization or
    management solutions. These solutions can all be very costly to acquire and
    implement. Often times, this cost gets chopped off because lower cost (dare I
    suggest “free”), targeted solutions can be used. Such an example of this is
    Citrix Profile Manager. It’s hard to compete with “included as free” and it
    works for a XenApp implementation quite well. However, when you start moving
    beyond XenApp into VDI, or App Virtualization and/or the remaining physical PC
    space, the limitations of that solution become obvious. This means an
    investment in a more robust tool.

At the end of the day, these pieces are the ones that will
provide the flexibility your users will demand in the bold new world. But, they
can also add significant cost and can be tough to gain budgetary approval for
on their own. When you lay your end of day vision out, you’ll want to discuss
these uses cases to show the need and the value up front so that the investment
rationale becomes clear….and ultimately you gain alignment to your vision and
approval for your requested Desktop Transformation program budget.

Next time, I’ll get into some of the planning
aspects for laying out your Desktop Transformation journey.  In the meantime, do these business case
perspectives resonate with you? What technology components did you find to be
the toughest “sell”? What approaches worked for you and what didn’t?

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